21 September, 14:19

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 21 - Italy was present for the first time at the International Istanbul Biennial with a special event dedicated to Video Art including works from three Italian artists and the same number of Turkish artists, who were all chosen for being at the forefront of this new form of artistic expression. The event, entitled "Anteprima" and promoted Italian Embassy, took place last night at the Italian Culture Institute in the city on the Bosphorus in front of a young audience. For the first time, it was explained during a presentation, Italy and Turkey have had a chance to compare their video productions opening a sort of "window" into the two countries. Often, art is able to summarise the identity of a country better than volumes of sociology and anthropology, Italian Ambassador to Turkey Gianpaolo Scarante pointed out, reported a curator of the event, Maria Rosa Sossai, while speaking to ANSA.

    "Artists have an ability to distil reality, the contradictions and the complexities of a country which, as is very much the case in Turkey, is in constant flux," said the internationally renowned expert. This "ability to synthesise", to make themselves a "indicator" of the situation, was exalted in the videos screened yesterday, said Sossai, who pointed out a "constant recourse to reality, both the past and the present" which "is reinvented through the language of images in movement". And this "method of reinventing it might be the only possibility that exists today to preserve the legacy of a heritage that risks being erased". Turkish artists in particular, the curator pointed out, "are projected towards the future" but "at the same time they are looking to preserve tradition", reinterpreting it "while looking to the past in order to save it from globalisation and from a system", the "art market, which tends to view a work of art like any other product". While speaking about the Italian artists, she explained how "Italy is not a country that is projected towards the future like Turkey right now", referring mainly to the economy and a "environment of mortification" reflected by Italy's production which demonstrates "a more intimate view focussing on itself, meditative". Examples of these differences seen in the videos screened last night cited by Sossai include Ferhat Ozgur's "Life is Beautiful", which, with a "documentary style" portrays several children miming traditional dances in a square at night; or two girls "with piercings" in Neriman Polat's "Two Partridges", who meet in a bar with "very traditional" folk music playing in the background. From Italy's videos, Sossai underlined Ra Di Martino's "August 2008", in which two actors sing while tunes drawing on "the tradition of American musicals", but while using words that are "news of disasters and incidents" as well as other "political and social" new stories. (ANSAmed).

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