Veil of Freedom is the natural expressive evolution in the female video portraiture shown in the initial video installation Ritratto continuo mod . 3.375.020.000 - the number refers to the approximate total female population in the world.
The project engages the feminine choice of wearing a veil.
Whether it may be a spiritual motive or a social requirement, women become “those who belong” by wearing a figurative element that is rich in plastic vibrations, but which expresses “visual subtraction”.
None of those women are in fact hidden by their veil but rather they are revealed with more clarity than with their facial expression or conscious gestures.
Taking an excerpt from the critical study by Luigi Ficacci, art historian and Superintendent for Historical and Anthropological Heritage: “Francesca Montinaro takes no account of the current issues and distortions concerning the veil. Instead her work focuses on the deep nature and mystery that involves the archetypal cultural custom of wearing a veil”.
The artist asks each one of them to reflect on her identity and her role, and to sum it up by performing a symbolic gesture: to dirty her hands in order to propel a message well beyond the confines of the video.
It is an invitation to express themselves, tell their stories, take a decision. The women write a message on their hands and cast it towards future generations.
It is a ritual, silent, slow, hypnotic performance: sitting on a swivelling chair, the participant is seen from behind, she then turns and finally she shows the message written directly onto her hands. The video portrait, carefully fashioned in every detail of color, light and shot, acquires that extraordinary monumental quality typical of ancient statues seen from below.
All the video portraits, each 90 seconds long, are edited together in sequence, with no sound. It is a work that has built up over a number of months, to be viewed by the public over a period of time that is protracted, cyclical, and random. The final result speaks a direct narrative language with strong visual impact, the contents of which are uncertain; these become manifest only cumulatively, portrait after portrait.