INVERNOMUTO describe themselves as an “audio-visual experimental group born in 2003 and based in the Italy countryside.” I first encountered Simone Bertuzzi and Simone Trabucci of INVERNOMUTO through their ffwd_mag project, each issue of which takes a different physical and conceptual form.
The group have their first solo exhibition in Italy, entitled B.O.B, opening on April 8th 2010 at Gallerie Patricia Armocida in Milan and ahead of this they have been distributing a series of trailers – the first of which is above. The trailers don’t feature in the show themselves, and the TV series or film they seem to be announcing will never be shot.
The trailer’s issues of fiction, personas, storytelling and projects that will never be realized, related to several projects here at VerySmallKitchen. I exchanged a few quick emails, and expect the questions to continue as trailers 2 and 3 coming along…
VSK: (1)Why fiction? (2)Why the storyteller? (3) Why B.O.B?
(1) Well, it is not just a matter of fiction, but maybe an attempt to work on the borders of the real. The subject here is memory and its shape, the way it comes out from different degrees of reality.
So, narration is a safe place, it allows you to navigate through different objects, references and imaginaries; there’s a grey zone between fiction, dreams, memory and real, something really dense, like glue, that’s why it’s so necessary. You cannot escape from it.
(2) We thought it was so necessary to have an omniscient presence who drives you through the project. The voice is very terse, it sounds familiar but at the same time it is not so distant from the stereotyped documentaries voice-overs. Moreover, the storyteller is John Duncan (artist and musician from LA – living in Italy since a couple of years) and to us this add a further, extremely interesting, level to the project.
We couldn’t choose a professional speaker, we just didn’t need only a voice, but an articulated block of memories, imaginaries, and even fictions.
(3) It stand as Bob Over Bob.
VSK: (A minute or so after asking the other questions) …oh, am also curious how these ideas – of fiction/storyteller/ persona – become explored in the exhibition? Why is the exhibition form a good one for these explorations? Is the exhibition a form of fiction?
INVERNOMUTO: Absolutely it is. In a way it is the manifestation of fiction. We think at the exhibition as a kind of puzzle of objects, photographs and archive materials; the viewer can connect and construct his own image of narrative paths, characters and their actions, but he won’t be able to figure out a precise and detailed picture. In this sense trailers are extremely useful. But we decided not to include trailers in the show to give the audience more possibilities of reading.
A READING NOTE: As I watched the trailer I was reading Exhibition Prosthetics by Joseph Grigely (Bedford Press Editions & Sternberg Press, 2010). Grigely is using the term “exhibition prosthetics” to describe an array of conventions that are part of “the machinery of exhibiting” – such as titles, labels, and catalogues – but not conventionally seen as part of the art work.
Grigely proposes a new awareness of such spaces and materials, presenting numerous examples of artists working and re-working such forms, observing:
In this respect, moving closer to the artwork involves moving away from the artwork – to look closer at fringes and margins and representations, and ask what seems to me a very fundamental question: to what extent are these various exhibition conventions actually part of the art – and not merely an extension of it? (7)
Invernomuto’s trailer of course engages this attraction to “exhibition prosthetics” – the desire to extend the “body” of the exhibition into forms outside of what it is conventionally composed. But, of course, their trailer is not really a convention of the art exhibition, it’s something more akin to TV or cinema.
In Invernomuto’s conception of “exhibition prosthetics” – as often with Grigely – the prosthetic explores the possibility of becoming the whole body, and there’s less sense of a custom-made prosthetic or a stable vocabulary of (exhibition) forms to be appropriated, more a melange of forms, adaptations, cross-circuitries….