Turn on my light – Biennale Venice 2017
A ZaLab Film Workshop inside the Central Pavilion of the Giardini of the 57th Biennale of Venice inside Green light–An artistic workshop by Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)
What is the workshop about
ZaLab managed a participatory video workshop with a group of asylum seekers taking part to the activities of Green light, a project by Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with TBA21, inside the 57th International Art Exhibition, VIVA ARTE VIVA.
The outcome of Zalab’s workshop was the production of a short film by four authors (Dickson, Zubaida, Akam, Lamin).
At the beginning of the workshop, each participant was asked to go and visit the exhibition with different eyes. They had to find an artwork, exposed inside the national Pavilions, that could touch or provoke something inside them. From that starting point, every participant was asked then to consider reproducing a particular artwork into the city of Venice or in the town in which they are currently hosted.
Documentary filmmakers Michele Aiello and Davide Crudetti led the workshop. Assistants to the laboratory were Andrea Segre and Tomi Mellina Bares.
The short film
The short film is organized in three episodes, each different from the other in style and content. Here they are presented with short synopsis:
DICKSON and The Search For The Unexpected: fascinated by the Venice Pavilion, Dickson develops a subject that talks about grape wine and palm wine. Palm wine is a very important and traditional beverage for Nigerian people of Delta State. Dickson knows very little about Italian wine and he’s so keen to find out what it really is. At the same time, he wants Italian people to know more about his dear palm wine. He asks then to his Nigerian friends and family to talk about palm wine and he interviews people from Venice about grape wine. Language: English.
ZUBAIDA, My Masks Are Yours: after visiting the German Pavilion, Zubaida feels strong emotions, which remind her about her human condition. She decides then to wear a Venetian mask and go in the middle of the crowd of tourists. Tourists are apparently happy and enjoy the city, such a thing that she feels she cannot do. The crowd here represents the people who don’t really care about marginalized people and enjoy life forgetting about their conditions. With a mask on, Zubaida walks through Venice and observes the reality, conscious this time to be observed as well. Eventually, she realizes that masks have not the same quality and are not so easy to find. Language: English.
AKAM and LAMIN, We Are the Same: Akam and Lamin have music running in their veins. After visiting the French Pavilion and the Pavilion of the USA, they start producing together a rap song. Akam has a strong relation to music, as his father is a musician. Lamin, on the other hand, cannot live without rapping and is attracted by the way the artist of the American Pavilion represents the marginalization of minorities and the black community in particular. In the end, Akam and Lamin come together to produce a rap song and a videoclip on memory and discrimination. Language: Kurdish, English, Wolof.