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COLLABORATIONS

Vittoria, 720p HD movie, 10′ 28”, 2009. [w/t Takuji Kogo]

Vittoria is situated in the Province of Ragusa on Sicily. It is a center for cherry tomato production. Spread along a 100 km stretch of coast covered with sheet-plastic greenhouses.
Developments in industrial agriculture have made it possible to produce vegetables throughout the year. The most successful producers are able to ceaselessly cultivate high quality organic tomatoes and vegetables in large scale greenhouse complexes and distribute them all over Europe.
This industrialized system has enabled seasonal migrant tomato pickers from Tunisia to stay and work all year round. During the 1980’s and 90’s low-cost labour played an important part in the growth of the industry.
In between the many greenhouses are small brick buildings. These are homes to the migrant tomato pickers. They look like the stereotypical huts seen beside meadows in Sicily or found on the locations of spaghetti western films. But today they adorn satellite dishes.
However in recent years many of the Tunisian pickers have left the plantation huts and moved to apartments in the town. Some of them belong to the third generation of migrants. Some are involved in the recruitment of new laborers to the farms. They are often seen at the Ferry Port in Palermo welcoming new recruits and their families from Tunisia.
Today many migrant tomato pickers from the former eastern block countries have come for work at the plantations. These are mainly Romanians, but also some Poles, Albanians and Ukrainians. Many of which are no longer seen as illegal due to the expansion of the European Union*.
Regulations for working conditions on the plantations are often neglected. For example migrant workers usually work on 5 month seasonal contracts but stay on for another 3 months without pay, receiving unemployment benefit from the Italian government instead. Also the regulations on working hours are easily ignored since the pickers often live on site, making it possible to work day and night.
The black labour market has flourished due to the hard competition between the Tunisian and Romanian workers. This can be seen at the town square early each morning when migrant workers without contracts, standing in ethnic groups, wait to be picked up by farmers for day work.
Nearby there is a huge wholesale vegetable market which provides some of the best quality tomatoes in Europe. The area around Vittoria functions as one giant vegetable factory. Trailers and trucks owned by global distribution companies are continuously seen coming and going day and night.

*The Schengen Agreement was extended to include Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and has gradually been disassembling internal borders and checkpoints.

Together with the galleria gianluca collica, ETHICAL Bros produced a (short) series of video-interviews with international established artists.

The “pilot episode” of the series being People From Their Own Time – Lawrence Weiner in Sicilia, documentary movie, SD 37’, 2001. In the movie, one of the fathers of conceptual art is the updated version of the enlightened traveller undertaking the Grand Tour in Sicily.

Other episodes consist of video interviews to Mario Airò (6’27”) and Urs Luethi (7’20”), which have been broadcasted by the TV-magazine ASTERISCO on RAI-SAT Art channel in 2002.

Lawrence Weiner in Sicilia (People From Their Own Time), 2001. Still from digital video, length 37'.

Lawrence Weiner in Sicilia (People From Their Own Time), 2001.
Still from digital video, length 37′.

*Candy Factory Projects

*CANDY FACTORY PROJECTS is a Japanese based platform for international collaborative multimedia based art projects, a mobile art institution, organizing curatorial projects, exhibitions, web projects and publications based on long term collaborations.

Takuji Kogo, *CFP founder, has worked and developed projects with artists such as Thomas Bayrle, Federico Baronello, Mike Bode, Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Charles Lim Yi Yong, Keiichi Miyagawa, John Miller, Ola Pehrson and Sean Snyder. They transform standardized everyday life and the distorted landscape of the global economy into digital kaleidoscopes presented as pavilion sculpture using multi computer projections.

Federico Baronello has been a member of the Candy Factory Projects since 1999 and produced:

'Online Ads' from Kitakyushu Biennial World Tour 2013, installation view at the Olica Phone Center, Catania 2013.

‘Online Advertisements (from #1 till #13)’, short ad messages to learn Italian / Japanese while singing and having fun.
Installation view from Kitakyushu Biennial World Tour 2013 at the Olica Phone Center, Catania.

ONLINE_ADS_1

ʻOnline Adsʼ (with Takuji Kogo), installation view at *Candy Factory Projects in Rome, AuditoriumArte – Rome 2012.

Installation views of ʻOnline Adsʼ at *Candy Factory Projects in Rome, AuditoriumArte - Rome 2012.

ʻOnline Adsʼ (with Takuji Kogo), installation view at *Candy Factory Projects in Rome, AuditoriumArte – Rome 2012.

EUR (with Takuji Kogo), still from two Shockwave Flash movies, length 3'44'' and 4'34'', 2011.

‘EUR ROME’ (with Takuji Kogo), Arab Spring’s aftermath in Rome.
Still from two Shockwave Flash movies, length 3’44” and 4’34”, 2011.

'Vittoria', installation view at the group show 'IMIN' Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu (Japan).

‘Vittoria’ (with Takuji Kogo), a project about large scale Sicilian cherry tomato production backed by Romanian and Tunisian migrants.
Installation view at the group show ‘IMIN’ Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu, Japan 2009.

'Portopalo', installation view at the 'IMIN' KB.

‘Portopalo’, a comparative aesthetics between religions in the global age.
Installation view at the ‘IMIN’ KB 2009.

'Lampedusa (How To Reach)', installation view at the group show 'Cute or Creepy?' Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu, Japan 2007.

‘How to reach Lampedusa’ (with Takuji Kogo), a promotional video clip for the holiday resort on the border of Italy next to an African asylum seeker’s detention center.
Installation view at the group show ‘Cute or Creepy?’ Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu, Japan 2007.

'Librino New Town Project' (with Takuji Kogo), a re-mix and Japanese dubbing of a TV documentary about squatters in abandoned public housing project in Sicilia designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Installation view at the group show Transformer (with Candy Factory), Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Yamaguchi, Japan 2005.

‘Librino New Town Project’ (with Takuji Kogo), a re-mix and Japanese dubbing of a TV documentary about squatters in abandoned public housing project in Sicilia designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.

librino@AIAV2

‘Librino New Town Project’ (with Takuji Kogo), installation view at the group show Transformer (with Candy Factory), Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Yamaguchi, Japan 2005.

Ethical Bros is a multimedia art project, which took place in the period between 1996 and 2002. With the pivotal partnership between Federico Baronello and Maurizio Leonardi, the project developed further collaborations such as that with Massimiliano Sapienza (aka massimo).

Ethical Bros are interested in manipulation of the medium and supports, working on redundancy and reiteration of images, with a markedly “installational” emphasis to what they do. The work of the ethical brothers Federico Baronello and Maurizio Leonardi rests on the awareness of belonging to a total, homologating system, pushing their artistic analysis and intervention to the point where the practice of representation itself is considered the only object worthy of being represented. The choice of easily reproducible supports (digital video, graphic files, hypertext, videotapes, offset silkscreen matrices, etc…) is in line with the artists’ aim of forcing the outer limit, that’s to say the “frame”, of the work, constraining themselves, the medium in use, the audience involved, to declare, each time, their limits, collocation and real intentions.

Felicita Platania, text for the exhibition catalogue of ‘Unframed’, Palazzo della Triennale, Milano 1999.

ETHICAL Bros self portrait

ETHICAL Bros, self portrait as 100% Sicilian

100% (video remix), digital video 6’, 1997. A collection of images from the crime pages on the Sicilian newspapers. Criminal mug shots and dead victims, one after another through morphing transitions. The purpose of the work is to focus on the potential of visibility of signals, conveyed by the Media, which can provide an identity (in this case Sicily = Mafia but could also be Islam = Terrorism), while waiting for the evolution of the same surrogate identity into a dignified form.

ETHICAL Bros ©onciliation! Installation view at the galleria gianluca collica, Catania 2001.

ETHICAL Bros ©onciliation!
Installation view at the galleria gianluca collica, Catania 2001.

©onciliation!, digital video (20’30”) + mixed media, 2000. ©onciliation! is the setting of a television studio, in which is displayed a talk-show, inside an art gallery. This setting reproduces the elements of a bar reduced to the essential: the bar and the table. Guests who have an institutional role in the Sicilian public life sit at the table. They are opposed to those at the bar, which in the pilot episode Sicilian Hospitality is occupied by foreigners who for years have been living and working in Sicily. Two TV monitors, projecting the talk-show demo reel, obstruct the entry on the set whose elements refer to the language of contemporary art (Pistoletto, Naumann, Tracey Emin, Maurizio Cattelan…). On the other site there’s a working table on which are displayed research materials, a mural painting with the ETHICAL Bros logo and the casting photos hang on the walls. ©onciliation! seeks to highlight, through the televised debate, contradictions, which are economical, cultural or arising from the relationship between local and global, in the Sicilian society, showing them as they are. In this way, as a paradox, ETHICAL Bros aspires to follow the narrative path traced by the masters of the Italian Neorealism.

Sicily: Tourism, Culture and Enhancement (in the works of J.W. Goethe and W. von Gloeden)documentary movie, SD 11’30”, 2000. In his Italian Journey, Goethe searches for the archetype of all plants, while immersed in the Botanic Gardens of Palermo, and for the archetype of the Western thought, considering the Odyssey epic while travelling around Sicily. Wilhelm von Gloeden, a German photographer living in Taormina in the early ‘900, is famous for having depicted the local youth, mostly with nude and equivocal poses, within neo-classical landscapes and settings. Under the Mediterranean sky both travellers free themselves from their own moral constraints through the exploitation of an idealised Sicily of classic origins. They act according to those industrial societies that, also through the exploitation and trade of resources from their colonies, were developing economies once only aimed at the production of goods for mere subsistence.

Sicily: Tourism, Culture and Enhancement (in the works of J.W. Goethe and W. von Gloeden)Still from video, ETHICAL Bros ©2000.

Sicily: Tourism, Culture and Enhancement (in the works of J.W. Goethe and W. von Gloeden)
Still from video, ETHICAL Bros ©2000.