VANITAS VANITATUM
Video installation, 2020

Concept


Men cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in stagnant water - Chuang Tzu
 

Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas (from Latin: the vanity of vanities, and all things are vanity), is a famous biblical passage taken from Ecclesiastes, often cited to affirm the emptiness of earthly concerns and the ephemeral character of the joys and glories achieved in the material world. This concept is the basis of the memento mori: the allegorical still-life, where an hourglass glittering in the dark, a skull resting on a book, a flickering candle next to a window, remind us of the transience of beauty and the fragility of the human condition.

Starting from this principle, I once again practice my technique of fake found-footage, which consists in the processing of impossible films, created through the surrealist animation of static images that belong to pre-cinematographic cultures. Ancient prints, paintings, miniatures, tapestries, and portraits of the past come to life, inside a digital time machine that collects imaginary artifacts and fragments over the centuries, recomposing them in a contemporary three-dimensional landscape.

A landscape that magically comes to life again in the present, but only to decompose before our eyes, devoured by digital insects, or simply falling asleep in front of the animated hourglass in the screen of a Mac Classic running out of memory. In the two screens side by side, we will see the original image and its animated contemporary reworking.

Documentation
 

Shows
Fuorinorma Festival, Roma - 2020

Ibrida Festival, Forlì - 2020

Credits
Concept, art direction, animation, editing - Francesca Fini