ES+F, 2015, HD video installation (Trailer)
Music: “Ravel – Piano Concerto For The Left Hand In D, M. 82” by Krystian Zimerman
If you haven’t experienced the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art, then you are missing out on one of the most creative, beautiful and absorbing events we have been to. It is widely known and consider that Venice is a unique city with it’s floating landscape, canals and waterways, and when you experience it first hand it doesn’t disappoint as an unmistakable a jewel of excellence. With the Biennale, Venice is opened up to you in the perfect manner as you embark on contemporary art treasure hunt around the historic city. Works that are part of the Biennale have been located all over the city in various museums, galleries, palaces and rarely seen beautiful and exclusive spaces that are opened up to the public to showcase works for the duration of the Biennale, offering a treasure trove of culture with the backdrop of medieval Venice contrasted with some of the leading contemporary artists of the day.
And the jewel in the crown of Biennale exhibits for us at HUNCH was a video installation by AES+F titled ‘ Inverso Mundus. The works evokes and pays homage to engravings in the genre of “World Upside Down”, an English ballad first published in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament. The printed engraved imagery that accompanied the balled depicts such scenes as a pig gutting the butcher, a child punishing his teacher, a man carrying a donkey on his back, man and woman exchanging roles and dress, and a beggar in rags magnanimously bestowing alms on a rich man. These engravings contain demons, chimeras, fish flying through the sky and death itself, variously with a scythe or in the mask of a plague doctor.
The title of the work, Inverso – both an Italian “reverse, the opposite” and the Old Italian “poetry,” and Mundus – the Latin “world,” hints at a reinterpretation of reality, a poetic vision. In our interpretation, the absurdist scenes from the medieval carnival appear as episodes of contemporary life in a multichannel video installation. Characters act out scenes of absurd social utopias and exchange masks, morphing from beggars to rich men, from policemen to thieves. Metrosexual street-cleaners are showering the city with refuse. Female inquisitors torture men on IKEA-style structures. Children and seniors are fighting in a kickboxing match. Inverso Mundus is a world where chimeras are pets and the Apocalypse is entertainment.