“Finite Rants” is an online project curated by Luigi Alberto Cippini and Niccolò Gravina, a series of 8 visual essays commissioned by Fondazione Prada to filmmakers, artists, intellectuals and scholars.
The first authors include German director and writer Alexander Kluge, Japanese photographer Satoshi Fujiwara, French director Bertrand Bonello, American director Brady Corbet and Swiss economist Christian Marazzi.
As stated by avant-garde director Hans Richter in 1940, the film or video essay is a form of expression capable of creating “images for mental notions” and of portraying concepts. Starting from Richter’s ideas, some later theorists identify specific traits in the video essay, such as creative freedom, complexity, reflexivity, the crossing of film genres and the transgression of linguistic conventions. “Finite Rants” aims to test the versatility of the visual essay in expressing thought images and demonstrate its relevance in contemporary visual production.
The aesthetic and theoretical roots of “Finite Rants” can be traced back to the experimental work La Jetée (1962) by French author Chris Marker. Defined by its creator as “photo-roman”, La Jetée is described by its voice-over as “the story of a man obsessed with an image of his childhood”. Set in a fictional Paris almost destroyed by a future nuclear holocaust, this dystopian, intimate and theoretical film expresses its distance from later narrative experimentations. The film thus integrates science fiction and obscure psychological introspection into a hybrid form, eliminating every concept of space and time, and freeing itself from a form generally considered definite. The authors of “Finite Rants” are therefore invited to confront themselves with a radical model of cinematic experimentation such as La Jetée, a fragmentary and dispersive story, consisting of a single short film sequence and a succession of static frames, which questions the very idea of cinema, understood as a set of moving images.
Following a process of creative collaboration between the authors and Fondazione Prada, the visual contributions featured in “Finite Rants” analyze social, political and cultural issues that have emerged in our present time and are normally addressed by the media with a documentary approach. Through the creation, editing and post-production of raw, heterogeneous and diverse images and visual materials, the authors are able to express personal visions and poetics that involve the viewer in an active and reflective role.
Satoshi Fujiwara, Alexander Kluge
A sublimation of intent and suppressed violence, obsessive skipping and mytomania, with no focused prayer. Satoshi Fujiwara elaborates political content amassed and originally sourced from videos created by Alexander Kluge into the vortex of mixed-media image democracy, conspiracy videos. An essay into overdosing and obsessing over collective thoughts and political figures, an overlayed black box of recent political traumas.
Editing and soundtrack by Francesco Tosini.
OÙ EN ÊTES-VOUS? (NUMÉR0 2)
Bertrand Bonello reworks the last minutes of his 2016 film Nocturama, which documents the logistical operations and the organization of terrorist attacks in Paris by a group of teenagers. His project is an ideal challenge to the canons of arthouse cinema, a true genre and production threshold of the French film industry. Starting with Où en êtes-vous?, a video commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in 2014 and conceived as a letter to his then eleven-year-old daughter, the director makes a new work altering the final sequence of Nocturama and completely modifying the textual component and the soundtrack.
[With the kind permission of Rectangle Productions]
Warning: This video contains violent images that may be disturbing to some viewers.
UNTITLED (HUDSON YARDS)
“Finite Rants” is a platform that encapsulates changes – changes happen more and more as subtle modifications of taste, aesthetics and general image habits. What seems neutral today can as well act as a dormant technology of faith. Images run, movies are scrolled and clustered among peak image content filling news-feeds.
Making visual content today is an act of witnessing short-life formats of being there is nothing persistent nor dramatic – early eyed excitement last no more than a sleep-awake routine.
Conceived to reveal the exploitation of an investor visa program which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas that partially bankrolled the Manhattan’s architectural project, Untitled (Hudson Yards) is an integrated poems on those faith-infrastructures that “drone” our current life-surfaces: urban stasis, metropolis as cable-churches for no following, apparent emotional charge for citizen that suffer from id withdrawal, real estate square meters as an engineered masquerade for desire genocide.
Untitled (Hudson Yards) repurposes a compact image capture technology as the iOS 4k image software as a viable format of decisive testimony, all made in using the same mass-consumer app ecosystem, sans-serif fonts and demoted editing patterns for the portrayal of what high-technology is: a refined system of killing- with no knife scars.
The images used in this visual essay were recorded in public spaces by the author. If you see an image of yourself and you would like to have it removed, please contact Fondazione Prada: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of an imaginary pan-European information broadcast, in which different disciplines such as linguistics, psychology and sociology are integrated, Christian Marazzi addresses issues related to the economic, financial and social implications of the current health emergency, such as the management of public and private debts, financial market fluctuations, nature of the new forms of power and social conflicts.
In his visual essay “Re-Mesh” a synthetic voice triggers a visual narration that perverts, distorts and shatters the forms that give substance to the collective mediatic imaginary, besides the graphic representation of economic trends and the related methods of data reading that influence the economic debate and the political choices.
The experimentation which emerges from the visualizations generates a continuous variation of relationships with different forms of thought. It directly introjects the sources of inspiration for future standards of visual processing through the appropriation and deflagration of the current logic of Memetics, in the direction of a collective vision capable of revealing the concatenations between different phenomena.
Video and soundtrack: Francesco Tosini