Virginia Ryan: 'INTRANSITU' . Film Carlo Michele Schirinzi





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Published on Jan 27, 2009

Film describing Australian artist Virginia Ryan's INTRANSITU project ,in collaboration with the ARAKAMARE embroidery group in Puglia,italy,2007.

Part one in a series of:

Art Concept and Direction: Virginia Ryan
Sound Design: Steven Feld

The Hand, The Eye, The Voice is a multi-site project begun in 2007 and to be continued for a period of five years in Italy. Conceived by Virginia Ryan, a series of distinct but inter-related projects are realized in collaboration with groups of women from distinct communities who weave, sew, and embroider their stories in response to critical themes in memory, identity, and place. The visual works are complimented by sound installations that join ambient keynote sounds with the voices of each participant telling the story of her production. The presentation of photographic portraits of the participants is also integral to each finished exhibition. At its conclusion, a book with CD will document the entire project.

2007, Chapter 1: Intransitu, Castello di Acaya, Puglia, in collaboration with Eclettica Cultura dellArte, October-December, curated by Guisy Caroppo de Monterisi and Achille Bonito Oliva for Intramoenia.

The project concerns the experience of transition, represented in thirteen pillow slips embroidered with a word or phrase by members of the group Arakamare. Installed like flags in a late Byzantine chapel-in-the-rocks at the Acaya castle, the linen pillow slips floated above a recently excavated fresco of a Dormitio Virgini, the Sleeping Virgin. The accompanying soundtrack mixes the sounds of hands embroidering with the voice of each woman speaking about her chosen theme.

The exhibit was mounted a second time in Spoleto at the Galleria Civica in July-August 2008 as part of Ryans 2001-2008 large scale solo exhibition entitled Multiple Entries, one of the official exhibitions of the 51st Spoleto International Festival.

2008, Chapter 2: Terremotus Femminile, Naples, November-December, curated by Giuseppe Ruffo, Pietro Tatafiore, and Raffaele Scarienzo for Associazione Sabu.

The project concerns the earthquake of 1980, exhibited precisely 28 years later. Ten women from the Quartieri Spagnoli each embroidered an "essential tremor," a profound memory of the earthquake on individual cotton cloths approximately 80cm square. Displayed in the underground (former bomb shelter) of Largo Barrache, the ten cloths are accompanied by a soundtrack mix of a RAI radio broadcast fragmented into static by the1980 earthquake, the women telling stories of their handwork, and street sounds pressing new sonic vibrations into a building that vibrates with memories of fear and of shelter.

The work is accompanied by a colour pocket-catalogue curated by Associazione Sabu, and will be shown for the second time in 2009 at Villa Pignatelli in Naples.

2009, Chapter 3 (in progress): Nascita, Foligno, in association with the master embroiderer Rosalba Pepi of Il Laboratorio di Alice.

A group of women embroiderers meet each Friday at the Villa Candida; from September 2008 until May 2009 they will work with red thread on a seven metre cloth, each participant picking up the thread where the previous left off, developing the theme of birth. The exhibit will again be accompanied by a sound installation and participant portraits. A catalogue with critical texts is also planned.


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