During the Summer Semester 2020 and the hold of COVID-19 at the Berlin University of the Arts, some students of the class worked together on producing videos as well as posters based on the Simone Forti video Zuma News (2014). The video work is part of a long series of projects, performances, and video pieces that the artist put together under the title News Animations that she started in the 80's.
News Animations is an investigation into “the interactions between verbal thinking, physical sensation, and perception.”¹ Zuma News has been the starting point for thinking and working on how the COVID-19 situation, which had its pick at the beginning of the semester, has brought so many emotions, feelings but also facts, news and politics into a “blanket”² under which it is comfy but also frustrating to be.
As a result students created individual works that decipher current events as seen and lived by them: isolation, accumulation of information, domestication and other issues that hold one daily. In weekly class meetings, feedback-loops to one another, communal viewing of the videos, the class elaborated on news, politics, literature, the body, time and movement to create digital and physical performances.
Reflecting on individual’s perception of social constructs while coping with a new influx of spectacle and facts, each video has also been translated into a graphic content in the form of posters. Those posters are now tangible objects in the urban space of Berlin, appropriating public spaces.
To complete the circle a quick-access link has been embedded into the poster, instantly redirecting the public viewer again into the digital realm of the individual video works.
Digital Physical – An Intimate Distance is maybe the most public project of the class for the annual Rundgang of the UdK until now and surely also the most intimate.
Class Bonvicini would like to thank Galleria Raffaella Cortese in Milan for kindly making available 'Zuma News' by Simone Forti and Ana Lessing Menjibar who was already present with us during our last Rundgang (2019) with a dance performance in the large scale installation of From One to Many and who gave the lecture Thinking with the Body, from Simone Forti to Flamenco and much more.
¹ Sabine Breitwieser in Simon Forti’s catalogue Thinking with the Body, Hirmer Verlag 2014
² as a reference to the action of the video, in which the flying newspapers seems from time to time to cover the artist as they would be a blanket
Still Image: Simone Forti - Zuma News (2014)
Johanna Michel - Dein Neues Zuhause
Louisa Frauenheim - Breaking KAHLA
I see things like storages. They store stories. In order to get the stories, I want to resolve the things.
Video Performance, 10:40 Minutes, July 2020