|"BORN AGAIN? NO, I?M NOT" 2011, performance video by Alessandro Rolandi, photo courtesy of the artist|
Beijing-based contemporary artist and academic Alessandro Rolandi´s spiritual video, "Born Again? No, I?m Not" opened Saturday, 1 October in Verona, Italy at the ArtVerona Internatiional Art Fair.
From there it opens in Milan, then in Cairo and Jordan, Rolandi said.
Alessandro Rolandi´s artist´s statement for Born Again? No, I?m Not
"The video uses the situations and the rhythms of the golden era of mute cinema and the likes of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, etc., to build a contemporary, ironical sketch on the topic of religion and spirituality.
"The character, wearing a mental institution uniform, (perhaps a prison outfit or old-fashioned bathhouse one) is creating the three symbols of the Christian, the Muslim and the Jewish religions.
"The word Allah is made with azime bread.
"The Star of David is made with Christian ostias bread.
"The Cross is made with Arab pitta bread.
"In all religions bread is the simplest and most important food; all religions are considered 'nourishement for the spirit' and often use bread as the key food for rituals.
"The character conducts a presumably 'naive' action, playing with the symbols and the types of bread.
"It is as though he wants to feed on all of them, yet at the same time, he asks himself, 'Are they really different?'
"After drawing the symbols with the bread, he [Rolandi] starts dancing around them and eating them in a sort of euphoria.
"During this process he sees the symbols mixing one into another and in a semi-conscious condition, he creates a new image, a landscape with a mountain and a house.
"Then he simply looks at it and comfortably lays down inside the house of bread and sleeps."
Alessandro Rolandi--Beijing 2011
Alessandro Rolandi, age 40, is artist in residence at Harrow International School, Beijing since 2003, teaching art and experimental theatre. He has taught or lectured in eight schools, including the Institut d´Edudes de Paris. He is also a film maker, actor, theatre director and author. Rolandi, born in Pavia, Italy, has staged at least 12 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 23 group shows.
|Alessandro Rolandi, photo courtesy of the artist|
"I observe, borrow, change and document reality to create possibilities that challenge our current socio-political structures and point out the effects they have on our daily life and on our scheme of thought."
Curator Cecilia Freschini asked
Rolandi to create a work on spirituality.
|Untitled by Alessandro Rolandi Photograph courtesy of the artist|
|"Old Beijing Man" by Alessandro Rolandi Photograph courtesy of the artist|
|Alessandro Rolanding performing his "Born Again, No, I?m Not" 2011 video Photograph courtesy of the artist|
"We can create a 'global civil association' driven by intelligence and sensitivity that can try to find local or specific solutions in economics, society and politics to avoid disaster.
"For this reason, not only academism and post-modernism in art but also art as mere practice itself needs to be bypassed to play a meaningful role in society.
"Creating impacting art means we need to use all tools and all knoweldge to trigger responses.
|"Bread Tree" by Alessandro Rolandi|
"Art should open new territories to itself. This is what great artists did...enlarge the spectre, the territory, the mapping process."
|Islamic art and design at Granada´s Alhambra, photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)|