Drawing Room. Animated videos

Curated by Lorenzo Giusti, Drawing Room presents the work of eight protagonists of the international art scene who have made experimentation in the field of animation a distinctive element of their artistic research. The works have been realised with different techniques, both digital and manual, over the last ten years by Carlos Amorales, Nathalie Djurberg, Joshua Mosley, Oscar Muñoz, Hans Op de Beeck, David Shrigley, Robin Rhode and William Kentridge.

Carlos Amorales (Mexico, 1970) makes vector-animated videos, using black silhouettes to compose a veritable archive of moving images. While telling stories of dark violence, Amorales’ animations are extremely seductive. The imagery to which the artist refers ranges from the Gothic to the futuristic, displaying a disruptive visionary charge.

Nathalie Djurberg (Sweden, 1978) creates stop-motion animations characterised by a surreal atmosphere, as well as by an ambiguous and at times desecrating irony. The protagonists of the different videos are plasticine puppets, modelled by hand, who become the interpreters of often violent actions, aimed at narrating possessive-type erotic impulses. Accompanying the movement of the images is music by Swedish composer Hans Berg.

Joshua Mosley (USA, 1974) combines the expressive potential of the latest digital technologies with the communicative power of manual work. His animations are characterised by a blatant linguistic contrast. Bronze or wooden statues come to life against photographic or pictorial backgrounds, recreating historical circumstances or imaginary situations.

Oscar Muñoz (Colombia, 1951) explores the complex relationships that link the perception of an image to memory. Using experimental techniques, such as charcoal on water or human breath, Muñoz extends the concept of “animation” to the entire field of the moving image, creating works poised between presence and absence, aimed at reflecting on the vulnerability of existence, memory and history.

Hans Op de Beeck (Belgium, 1969) creates digital animations using alternative languages and aesthetic forms. In terms of themes, Op de Beeck’s work investigates the relationships between space and time in contemporary man’s perception, conditioned by new technologies, urban development and globalisation, highlighting its most paradoxical aspects. The focus is always on small unconscious gestures, set in a dreamlike, suspended atmosphere.

David Shrigley (Scotland, 1968) is known to the general public as an illustrator and author of animated videos. Having become famous with the film Who I Am and What A Want and for having collaborated with internationally renowned musicians, including Blur and Jason Mraz, Shrigley uses the cartoonist’s sarcasm to describe significant aspects of the contemporary human condition, not shying away from addressing social and political content.

Robin Rhode (South Africa, 1976) uses everyday materials (charcoal, chalk and tempera) to create moving images that have urban walls as their base. Characterised by an interdisciplinary approach involving performative aspects, Rhode’s videos address social issues with a poetic, at times surrealistic gaze.

Since the late 1980s, William Kentridge (South Africa, 1955) has been making animated drawings using a single surface as a support, thus exploiting the expressive potential of the traces left by erasures to narrate the conditions of life in South Africa during the years of racial separation. Over time, his work has evolved and has become more complex, involving performance aspects, influenced by the artist’s passion for shadow theatre and opera.

EX3 Centre for Contemporary Art, Florence