video intervention 061Production year: 2001.
Installation: n°1 monitors Lcd , n°1 DVD or autorepeat, different dimensions.
with: Paolo Ravalico Scerri.
performances: My performance, which is important not to announce in advance, consists of me, walking among the spectators, observing them, staring at them, trying to establish an eye relation with them, sometimes I touch them lightly by the hand, I caress them lightly, sometime they participate, sometimes they feel embarassed, it is an invitation to observe my work and an invitation to communication.
"Paolo Ravalico Scerri
In still photography, videos and performance pieces, Paolo Ravalico Scerri looks at contemporary aspects of romance, eroticism and gay behaviour, recorded as simple rituals of daily life. He uses technology as a sentimental tool. presenting himself as the protagonist in his unflinchingly honest set-ups, which are sexually explicit and sometimes critical of Italian hypocrisy.
"One of the main issues in my work is the idea of voyeurism, which is currently such a big part of our lives," says the young artist, referring to such shows as Big Brother. "Plus I'm interested in the role of television, how it is central to the way we live, the idea of exhibiting yourself on screen, as well as being a witness. But my videos are in slow motion. In many ways, they exist as the opposite of the frenetic diffusion of today's televised image. I slow down the tempo, to better concentrate on the smaller moments of daily life."
Scerri, who is based in Trieste in the northeast of Italy, is keen to point out that his work is not simply about protest, even if it is concerned with the current political situation. "It's about the Italian question, about the constitutional definition of identity, about sacred icons.
It's about stimulating thought."
The male nude appears regularly in Scerri's work. Sometimes it's the artist himself, sometimes it's a paid model. "For me, the male nude is purely a material. I purposely use my models as objects, to express an idea, for their aesthetic sense."
Parallel to Scerri's work in video and still photography are his performances. "This is my way to re-establish a personal rapport with the viewer, instead of them just looking passively at a t.v. screen." At the opening of a recent museum show in Bologna, the well-dressed
artist stood next to Adoration, a video projection in which Scerri is seen genuflecting in front of a naked hunk seated on a chair. As unsuspecting viewers walked past the artwork, Scerri stared at them coquettishly, and gently stroked their arms. These obvious pick-up gestures, so unashamedly performed in a museum, created an atmosphere of tension.
Scerri's enticing looks caused visible discomfort to several male viewers. Some were shocked, some grew angry, others embarrassed. One man, though, stopped, looked Scerri deeply in the eyes, then firmly grabbed his balls. Adoration, indeed." Jonathan Turner The Italians Blue n°42 january 2003