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Sara Rossi Le cocu magnifique

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A video artist and photographer who trained at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in the 1990s, Sara Rossi stands out on the Italian art scene for her investigation of the relationship between reality and the collective imagination. In her practice she employs various materials and draws on different sources, found images and fragments of memories, with a particular interest in oral history, stories, and folk traditions. "Le cocu magnifique" won the Audience Award at the Venice Biennale, as part of the Premio per la giovane arte italiana (2002-2003). The video installation consists of two videos, the first of which is shown on a monitor outside the screening room. Using a fixed camera to film a mechanical music box with a repetitive and hypothetically infinite movement, the video alludes to the concept of the cyclical nature of time. The protagonist of the video screened inside the room is the balladeer Pulcinella, who, in a snowy setting, invites viewers to observe reality through the stereoscopic mask. The instrument shows a series of images taken from disparate sources and combined into a sequence evoking early cinema. In Rossi’s work, often populated with figures belonging to the folk imagination, the figure of Pulcinella has a specific meaning. As the artist explains: “He is a peasant, the narrator of an ancient story lost in time, but above all he is the mask of satire, the popular wisdom that mocks hypocrisy, the arrogance of power, and the absurdity of the world.” A recurrent element in Rossi’s work is her engagement with the iconography of art history: the subject of the video is taken from Giandomenico Tiepolo’s fresco The New World in the Villa di Zianigo. A further link is also established with the constructivist theater of Vsevolod Yemilyevich Meyerhold, who, in 1922, staged Fernand Crommelynck’s biomechanical play "Le cocu magnifique".
On View
M.R. Sossai, Artevideo. Storie e culture del video d’artista in Italia, Milan 2002; E. Fulco, “Sara Rossi. L’immagine leggera”, Flash Art, 241, August-September, 2003, p. 110. M. Pignatti Morano, S. Vannini (eds.), Premio per la giovane arte italiana 2002-2003, exhibition catalogue (Venice, Venice Biennale, 50th International Art Exhibition), Rome 2003, pp. 37-52. Wanderers. Italian artists offer a free ride through different landscapes, in Impakt. Festival 2004. Program, Utrecht 2004, pp. 24-25; D. Galasso, Interview with Sara Rossi, “www.teknemedia.net”, March 13, 2004.
Photo Credits
video still
Legal status
Premio per la Giovane Arte Italiana 2002 - 2003
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