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Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini, With the occasional rainbow visiting

Participant Inc.
253 East Houston Street, 212-254-4334
East Village / Lower East Side
October 21 - October 25, 2009
Reception: Sunday, October 25, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

From October 21-25, PARTICIPANT INC is pleased to present “With the occasional rainbow visiting” (3 channel video installation, color, sound, 40 minutes, 2008) by Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini. Through this complex video installation, Mocellin and Pellegrini create a thought-provoking reflection on living conditions in Palestine and Israel. Quoting different voices ranging from the Palestinian journalist Leila El Haddad, to the Israeli writer David Grossman and the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, together with other sources such as blogs, newspapers, magazine articles, and audio clips downloaded from the Internet, the artists construct an imaginary dialogue in which different points of view, cultures, and origins converge until they eventually overlap, displaying a shared existential condition. Themes of identity and relationships with others, which frequently occur in the work of the two artists, are addressed through the description of daily life in a situation of conflict. By imagining the idea of exile as an existential condition, Mocellin and Pellegrini have sought to explore the extent to which control and fear have changed our lives.

In the central video, a black background-which is gradually marked by bullets-is transformed first into a starry sky. Words slowly start to form, composing part of an essay on flowers by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The text is superimposed by images of native flowers derived from drawings by the nineteenth century Swiss missionary Hanna Zeller. These images appear and gradually disappear, leaving a ghostly white trace, as if their ephemeral beauty, within a dramatic context like the one described, simultaneously contains the essence of life and its own denial. The projections on either side show a visionary video collage in which the images, intended to contrast with the daily images of conflict provided by the media, take on an alienating, poetic quality.

The book, An incongruous beam of beauty over the Gaza Strip, published by Charta, with a text by Emanuela De Cecco, will be signed by the artists on Sunday, October 25, 7-9pm. The video installation and book form part of a larger project, which also included a theatrical performance that was presented in April 2007 at the Out Off Theatre, Milan.
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