Read here our second interview with Italian artist Antonella Ferrari, This Is Not Art
Would you tell us something about your artwork and how you responded to the brief?
The theme of the show is quite significant to my practice, as a lot of my work has to do with human relations and how we connect with others, both in the public and personal sphere.
The video presented for this project, is more personal and introspective and focuses on the relationship we have with ourselves. Glimpse is a black and white video, composed of two identical clips playing side by side in a loop. In each clip I am portrayed turning my head to glance at an identical mirrored image of myself, on the other side of the screen. The loop and time offset between the two clips prevents eye contact between the two figures. One lowers the head just as the other is about to raise hers and meet the other’s gaze. The intention is to play with the elusive nature of self-perception and the inability to see our selves as a whole, coherent entity.
What did you gain from this international collaborative project?
It was exciting to explore some of the ideas surrounding my work in a wider context and to collaborate with other artists with different practises to create such a powerful concept/installation. Although at first the size restriction seemed like a real challenge, it actually opened up new possibilities. I never thought of presenting my video in such small format, on a mobile phone. I think it really worked, as it added a sense of intimacy to the work, which I hadn’t thought of before.
What do you feel the role of the artist can be in relation to current political affairs?
The last year has felt particularly disheartening, due to political matters and humanitarian crises around the world. Now more than ever it is important to reflect on these issues and try to develop cross-cultural relationships. I hope that art, as well as other forms of communication, can help us bridge division and connect with other people around the world. Art has no borders.
Miniature portraits were often given as political gifts to kings or ambassadors …what message would you embed in such a gift?
My work in particular would like to be an invitation to reach out and connect, whether to others or to our very selves.
One of the aims was to create an opportunity for the artist to work on a unique and inspiring conceptual brief and become part of a collective work, was that successful for you?
Absolutely. I loved the way 150 works from artists across three European countries were brought together and displayed in such an interesting way. Although retaining their individual identity, the single works collectively merged together, to create a whole new entity conveying a very strong message.