Grazia Toderi / Screening – Palazzo Grassi

Until June 2014, the Teatrino of Palazzo Grassi presents new videos by artists from the Pinault Collection. Tomorrow, Thursday April 24 2014, sees the first screening of Il fiore delle 1001 notte (1998) by Italian artist Grazia Toderi (1963), which will be screened until May 5, 2014.

After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Grazia Toderi moved to Milan in 1992 and since 2005 has divided her time between Milan and Turin. The artist first gained critical attention in part as a result of her participation in Aperto ’93 at the 45th Venice Biennale, where she exhibited, in addition to photographs, the video Notiscordardime (Forget-me-not), where she used a fixed video camera to shoot a small plant assailed by a violent and continuous jet of shower water. Toderi tends to make detached recordings of actions that often unfold in an everyday environment, and her deliberately elementary use of video as an expressive means emphasizes her desire to concentrate on the subject and the action taking place, distancing herself from pure and simple creative will.

All shot with a fixed video camera, the subjects of these early works are, in fact, very simple: one video, for example, shows the head of a large doll beaten by the windshield wiper of a car (Mia testa, mio cuore [My head, my heart], 1993), while the same doll is again shot in Soap, 1993, this time in circular motion inside a washing machine. While showing quotidian objects in domestic contexts, Grazia Toderi’s works do not hide a sense of unease, and her subjects, in reality, are often subjected to concealed violence. In 1995, invited to exhibit at Frac Languedoc-Roussillon in Montpellier, the artist herself became the protagonist of a video, Zuppa dell’eternità e luce improvvisa (Soup of Eternity and Improvised Light), 1994, where, negating the force of gravity, she attempted, while completely immersed in a swimming pool, to carry out normal actions such as walking or opening an umbrella. The slowness of the action seems to unfold following the rhythm of her breathing that, through the image, reveals all the exertion of the hostile situation to which the body is subjected.

The video Il fiore delle 1001 notte (1998, 17’41”) was conceived as the set for a performance by Virgilio Sieni’s dance company, and was one of the winners of the Golden Lion award at the 1999 Venice Biennal.

Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi – Venice
April 24 – May 5 (except Tuesday, April 29)
From 10am to 7pm