(selected by Yuen Fong Ling)
Fuzzy Lover, 2003
Riccardo Iacono makes abstract animations, video collages, performance tapes and installations using a range of techniques: direct painting on to film, photography, optical printing, digital imaging, chemical processing; improvisation, recycling and feedback. His works are musical, poetic and experimental in nature and are formed through an exploration of visual and aural perception; language, identity and culture; the body, the image, and the interaction of different materials and processes.
Iacono's early concerns with visual process and the material and structural properties of film and video have more recently extended to issues around global warming, globalisation, body modification and genetics, openness and responsibility. He is interested in how we are able to be in different times and spaces simultaneously; how we adapt to and engage with the images we see; how the material we take in and produce forms part of us and defines us.
He states, 'In my most recent works I have used the techniques of pea throwing, video recording and editing to explore the connection between seeing, interactivity and improvisation in visual music performance, and the pre-emptive /precautionary strategies employed by militarists and ecologists in analysing and managing the future. I have been using garden peas to explore the colour green, the relationships of organic and synthetic material, natural order, human intervention, the resources and limits of life. ... the main challenge I find is balancing care and deliberation with spontaneity and playfulness'.
Steven Ball, Research Fellow at the The British Artists Film and Video Study Collection, London, writes, 'Through play and metaplay Riccardo Iacono's work describes a kind of complex open system within complex systems. It becomes about the artist in relation to the world, the body of the artist in relation to the body of work, the viewer in relation to the work at the time of reception, the unique event of performance that redoubles the act of making and the re-entry of the work into the world. It is a promiscuous trans-discipline practice which may be viewed as much as dance and/or music as film and video, and with the potential to converse in the language of any other discipline, within other areas of cultural production, with other artists works'. (Extract from Steven Ball, Open Play: The Work of Riccardo Iacono, 2005. See full text below).
'Art for me is a form of cultural interface and in my art, cultural interface is signified by the transformations and cross-fertilizations of sound and light, the materials and circumstances under which they emerge, become apparent, are transmitted, received, exist and burn. In my animations, performance tapes and video collages my anxieties, frustrations, my temper and being are conducted through the transfer of energy between frames. Through the process of composing and presenting works, waves and particles of sound and light are agitated. Agitation causes friction, releases energy.
Distribution is the circulation of energy. In my one-take videos, 'The Electric Garden' and 'More Light' (2004), energy is used to engage with and explore the situation of seeing. The image is seeded by my connection to light, nurtured by the energy generated by the materials and processes that support that connection. Each video is a kind of suspension and finds its conclusion when the energy needed to sustain the acquisition and production of images is exhausted.
Seeing and recording in this way is a means for me to find my place in relation to everything else. Whether one is looking with or without a camera, I find that to engage and immerse oneself in the image is to accept its order within the framework of the actual; to see oneself as part of it: Author and caretaker, to some extent responsible for, materially bound to and encoded in that which is gathered and distributed.' (Extract from Riccardo Iacono, Riccardo Iacono: Life Process, 2006. See full text below).
Riccardo Iacono (b. 1969) studied Painting at Glasgow School of Art and Electronic Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. He began working with film and video in 1991. Works have been screened on Channel 4, Scottish Television and Sky TV and have been shown nationally and internationally in festivals, cinemas and galleries including: TIE International Experimental Cinema Exposition, Colorado (2001/05), A Century of Artists Film in Britain, Tate Britain (2003); Ice in The Freezer, a one-person show presented by Pleasure Dome, Toronto (2003); Canciones De Amor Desde Un Cuerpo Oscuro, a retrospective at La Enana Marron, Madrid (2005); and From Memory, a one-person show at Kino Oko, Prague (2005). He was recently awarded an ACME 5-year live/work residency at The Fire Station, East London.
Iacono is currently collaborating with David Reznak in organising a series of UK artists film and video screenings for exhibition in Madrid and Barcelona 2006, and a solo show is scheduled from 20 April to 27 May 2007 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester. He lives and works in London.
Steven Ball is a film and video artist, a curator, and Research Fellow at The British Artists Film and Video Study Collection at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design, London.
Riccardo Iacono: Life Process
Energy, Submission and Suspense Art for me is a form of cultural interface and in my art, cultural interface is signified by the transformations and cross-fertilizations of sound and... read on
Open Play: The work of Riccardo Iacono
Before he made films Riccardo Iacono made paintings. He became interested in them as physical objects, stretchers filled with paint were torn and twisted so that textures and surfaces reflected light,... read on