video, color, sound, 35’00”
new and found footages

(click on the image to watch a video excerpt)

Contemporary media images, produced by political or religious institutions, are constructed to affirm their power. But what happens when images contradict sound or voice? What difference does it make for the effectiveness of the political message that the person speaking the words is not the person mouthing the words on screen? Dismembering a speech from the applause, a voice from the speaker, a leader from his audience, I create awareness about the manipulative status of the original image. Manipulating footages posted on YouTube, I enact a strategy to disturb the viewer’s perception of the images and to interrupt the consensus that generally is given to it. 

Through the footage of the last meeting of Barak Obama and Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2014 and the Pope’s speech given to the European parliament on the 25th of november 2014, I investigated the blurred boundaries between the sacred and secularized strategies used in the media. The religious institution shares the same media technique with many other areas of modern secular society, from politics, to entertainment to information. What are the different tasks of the religious and secularized institutions? Are they that different, or do they overlap and almost meld in to one another?

Selecting public footage of the meeting and accompanied them with the voice of a narrator, my video essay A Glorious society reveal the manipulative and staged nature of the public images, so that the viewer’s perception can be disturbed and be challenged. In my work I also question the value of leader’s speeches in relation to their voice and image. What gives power to the leader’s speech, his voice, the content of the speech or his image?
 If power is essentially the ability to govern, why has to take the form of ceremonies, protocols, mediatization? As the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben states, acclamation is a powerful tool that survive in modern society in the form of public opinion and mediatization from early christianity and roman empire. If the media are so important in modern democracy, this is not simply because they allow to control and govern the public opinion, but also because in this way they distribute glory and therefore power. My project investigate the strategy with which power structures, as politics and church, use their own image in the public media.

Public screening:

Graduation Show Master Artistic Research – Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague.
Exhibition curated by Maziar Afrassiabi & Jack Segbars
 exhibition view (foto: Katarína Gališinová)

The Hague Peace Projects in collaboration with exhibition space GEMAK, The Hague
(click here to read a report of the event)

De KIJKDOOS Project Space, Amsterdam
(De Kijkdoos)

OVER GRENZEN, DE MENSELIJKE MAAT (Across borders, the human dimension) 2016
# Aftrap4 – ARTtrium
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelatie (Ministry of Interior), The Hague
(Exhibition catalog)

See my other work

Pierfrancesco Gava

Wilhelmina Pakhuis
Veemkade 596
1019BL Amsterdam

Phone: +31(0)6 41681139
Email: pierf_gava@hotmail.com

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