Eco e Narciso

Cultura Materiale / Video

Provincia di Torino Pcc


“Eco e Narciso” is the public art programme promoted by Provincia di Torino to foster the introduction of artistic sensitivity into processes of analysis, development, and transformation of the territory.
Originally part of “Progetto Cultura Materiale”, the material culture project which was designed to help ecomuseums and museums bring the landscape into contact with artistic disciplines, using them as filters of investigation, it has since focused on a variety of forms of expression: Art in 2003, Photography in 2004, Literature in 2005, Music in 2006, and Design in 2008. The first Laboratorio Artistico Permanente, an offshoot of “Eco e Narciso” which targeted the local administrations in the province, came to an end in 2007.

Curated by Rebecca De Marchi and Elena Volpato, “Eco e Narciso. Cultura Materiale / Video” involves eight artists who, from May to September 2010, have worked with seven ecomuseums in the province of Turin. Using video as their medium, they have conveyed the themes, memories, and aims each ecomuseum, involving the local territory and its community.
The aim is to perceive, express, and convey the identity of a place, following along aesthetic and poetic lines, and expressing both the historical and the everyday complexity of the ecomuseum through emotional channels. By acquiring experience of the past as an opening for the future, it can be made to resonate beyond its actual presence and, as George Baker puts it, "the attunement of the viewer and the viewed, of self and other, and of history and the present”. The starting point is history, but the end result does not come in the form of narrative or documentary videos.

The Video edition of “Eco e Narciso” includes activities for college students, with a programme that ranges from in-depth historical studies and criticism to video techniques, with visits to some of the key centres for the production and promotion of video in Turin, through to experimentation in cinema and narrative applied to the creation of a video with a close eye on the particular characteristics of the place.

From 6 to 18 May 2010, the artists were at the centre of a cycle of three public meetings at GAM in Turin, which were also for students who had taken part in the teaching programme. During these encounters, the artists presented their own personal studies, making them interact with the initial results of the work for “Eco e Narciso / Video” and offering a moment of constructive confrontation and dialogue between various experiences in the field of artists’ videos.

During the weekends of 25-26 September and 2-3 October 2010, site-specific videos have been shown to the public in special areas set up at the ecomuseums involved. During the days of the programme, there was be a travelling festival of artists’ videos, which showed a series of works, from the Videoteca collection of GAM. These have been selected for their resonance with the main themes of the individual ecomuseums. Each stop also provided an opportunity to visit the ecomuseums involved in the videos.
During Artissima 17 and the 28th Torino Film Festival, “Eco e Narciso. Cultura Materiale / Video” have been shown in Turin.