a project by Alice Pedroletti
Ops is an audio/video installation, including one projection, four wallpaper letters, and an engraved glass board sculpture to communicate. Projections concern one eye, which slowly opens and closes. The eye appears erroneously stopped, like a photograph, but remains a video, slowed down, exasperated.
The project focuses on the meaning of interpersonal communication, and it was realized working with TonyNuccia, a man sick of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
In Ops, words are not simple words used by a standard board where the variety of grammatical concepts significantly limits the communication between the parties. The artist's words are edited from dialogues and letters with another patient sick from locked-in syndrome, the Italian activist Severino Mingroni; they embrace different feelings and emotional status generally denied to the patients. The conversations took place only through emails and Facebook, never in person, exchanging the participant's position and creating an ambiguous role between the sick and the healthy one.
Ops takes inspiration from free software called b-Link, which allows a disabled person to communicate independently. Through the blinking of the eye and the subsequent reading of a specific machine connected to a computer, the person can control a computer and get to move to break the walls of a forced condition. What you see in reality is someone watching, monitoring, living. The viewer's point of view is that of the computer point of view.
The work also refers to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the French memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby, and Julian Schnabel's adaptation movie (2007).
Ops is a root of Greek origin, embodying seeing, eye, and face. The eye is an instrument for collecting data, while other organs are made to give information. How we transform communication if we are caught in an instant snapshot of our life? Can we always be part of a group? Sometimes communication becomes a different language, and our body condition becomes a separate "country" where we have to stay and live until death.
In Ops, the eye becomes a door to eventuality, the power of the desire to share thoughts and ideas, the strength of the indomitable soul locked inside a body, which limits us. When we look into that eye, apparently still, we became its instrument, we become responsible for its message, and we disclose it as if we were the eyes of his inner world.
Direction/Photography: Alice Pedroletti
Technical collaboration: Movie People Srl
Filming technician: Claudio Palumbo
Sound design: Alberto de Angeli
Editing: Federica Antonelli
Words: from a dialogue with Severino Mingroni
The artist would like to thank: La Famiglia Mercuri, Severino Mingroni, Aleksandra Krolak_Lodz University, Mina Welby, FaMa projects, Byblos Collection, Villa Amistà, Masha Facchini, Lorenzo Lomonaco, Nico Chirico, Antonella Olivieri, Luca Fontana.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Toni-Nuccia Mercuri.
© Alice Pedroletti, 2011-2015