BARBARA NAHMAD Tavole della Protesta (Protest Pictures) 2008 [S] - x +

CN: NahB2008prot

MT: DVD (07:30)

PB: Barbara Nahmad (director), Alessio Bruschi (video), Davide Rosenholz (sound)

CT: Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery, Turin-Milan-Rome - 2008

CM: Barbara Nahmad created the Tavole della Protesta (Protest Pictures) in 2005 in an attempt to represent the dynamism of protests since the 1960s, which spread all over the world like a wave. She used photographs of socio-political unrest at a variety of cities - including Berkeley, Dublin, Geneva, London and Paris - to make mixed media artworks. Some pictures show students in Paris throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails against the police. Others show Americans protesting against the war in Vietnam. Nahmad then used images from her artworks to produce the present video. The Tavole della Protesta video is like a quotation on Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blowup (1966). Onto the video Nahmad added optical effects of noise and other disturbances to evoke the quality of the television at the time. In some cases Nahmad threw red enamel color to evoke blood. She also experimented with the speed of the video to change the rhythm and thus to signal the fact that this period in history is over. The sound is a mix of effects from large gatherings of protest to bell chimes from funerals. Nahmad says: "Protesters yelling 'Bullshit!' was just a good start for the sound installation... In my opinion it is more important to speak about slogans like 'Viva la Revolution' (Long Live the Revolution), common among militants and pop culturists alike, or 'El pueblo unido jamás será vencido' (The people united will never be defeated), a quote originally given by the Colombian liberal politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1898-1948). Included is also the voice of Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) followed by the terrifying scream of a woman. In between the scenes are heard series of musical excerpts - first a 1967 song by Jimmy Hendrix and then Give Peace A Chance (1969) by John Lenon, who was an icon of this period. Lenon's anti-war / pro-peace song is interrupted by explosions. The Tavole della Protesta pictures were presented as an installation with sound by Davide Rosenholz in May 2008 for the Military Camp of Como. The present video was shown for the first time in September 2008 simultaneously in Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery in Milan and at Anima Fund Investment Group as an installation with pictures, Molotov bombs and four monitors.

[Megakles Rogakos 06/2009]