Strange Circus by Giona Bernardi

Strange Circus
by Giona Bernardi
curated by Noah Stolz

Saturday October 27, 2007 at 7 pm

Strange circus - photos of the showStrange circus - photos of the showStrange circus - photos of the showStrange circus - photos of the showStrange circus - photos of the showStrange circus - photos of the show       In his latest production Giona Bernardi focuses on animation. The structure of his videos presents itself as a paranoic mantra, inspired by the subliminal messages typically used in the advertising practice, inverted by the artist into an introverted form.
The images move with an epileptic rhythm triggering the public to a certain state of hypnosis, in opposition with the static nature of the single drawing. This contrast characterizes the work of Giona Bernardi on various levels: the technique used refers to traditional crafts as, at the same time to the street culture. In the same way mythologies, coming from the past or from other cultures, emerge and are integrated in the more fragile texture of an ambiguous present.
"Circus" is often understood as a naive mirror of a society lost, even when we recognize it as a form of representation of the human being, in relation with its natural instincts, myths and characters. The circus is also, in the end, a representation of the world itself: it always connotes the kingdom of strangeness, of exoticism, a kingdom inhabited by freaks, clowns, wildlife ... We are used to think of it as spectacle that belongs to a specific period of history, or at least to specific moment of memory. Whether we think that circus is out of fashion or not, we are no longer able to accept it's own mythologies as being capable to comprehend the reality of today's life.
There is no direct trace of the imaginary of the circus in Giona Bernardi's work but the idea of it is there, composing together an abstract image of the world, suspended between past and future, hope and fear.
In his work the underground, the street and hip hop culture become the uncanny golems of the standards that regulate life in contemporary times. Clowns, freaks and "the strongest man in the world" are invoked as invisible presences of a common face of disillusion; but they also appear as pure spirits living in a bizarre world. MC, Big Boy, street fighters, but also kids and young ravers inhabit this world.
< back