Monday April 13, 7:30pm
Paolo Gioli: Face / Figure / Film
curated by Enrico Camporesi
artist in person!
admission $7


Still from Secondo il mio occhio di vetro (According to my Glass Eye, 1972)

Microscope Gallery is pleased to present in conjunction with our current exhibit Paolo Gioli: Volti a screening program of 16mm films by the Italian artist, selected by Paris-based curator Enrico Camporesi. In the five black and white films in the program, which span forty years, the artist visits a recurring subject of the human face or figure. Trained as a painter, Paolo Gioli’s attention has always been toward matters of portraiture or self-portraiture. A tireless inventor and bricoleur of various optical devices, Gioli couples his bold technical and formal gestures with a passion for the most classic themes of art history.

In Secondo il mio occhio di vetro (According to my Glass Eye,1972), one of his major early filmic works, the artist puts himself into image and sets a meticulous score of negative and positive profiles according to a furious percussions soundtrack. Filmfinish (1986-1989) perverts the photo-finish technique used in sport events by applying it to the moving image, thus enabling the artist to dismantle the synchrony of the camera and the subjects portrayed. Il finish delle figure (2009) functions as an ideal reply to Filmfinish, for the artists re-animates photographic works from his past, conceived through the photo-finish technique. Gioli’s attempts to put the photographic image into motion are realized in of his signature works: Filmarilyn (1992) in which Gioli uses Marilyn Monroe’s contact sheets by Bert Stern to construct through still imagery what looks like a found film or, in the words of the author, an “unsuccessful pre-cinematic experiment”. Found artifacts are at the core of Volto sorpreso al buio, an “impossible” film, as Gioli has called it, made with 1950s glass photographic plates by an an anonymous photographer (which are also used in the photographic series Sconosciuti, on view in the exhibition). The painterly touches applied by the anonymous artisan in order to improve upon the flaws of the subject in the ID photo become disfiguring scratches on the faces emerging from the past.

Introduced by Enrico Camporesi and followed by a Q&A with Paolo Gioli.


Secondo il mio occhio di vetro (According to my Glass Eye, 1972)
16mm / b&w / sound / 10 minutes 9 seconds

Filmfinish (1986-1989)
16mm / b&w / silent / 12 minutes 27 seconds

Filmarilyn (1992)
16mm / b&w / silent / 11 minutes 12 seconds

Volto sorpreso al buio (Face Caught in the Dark, 1995)
16mm / b&w / silent / 8 minutes

Il finish delle figure (Photofinish Figures, 2009)
16mm / b&w / silent / 9 minutes 10 seconds

Paolo Gioli was born in Sarzano, Italy, in 1942. After attending the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, he travelled to New York in 1967 on a study grant from the John Cabot Foundation, where he familiarized himself with the art scene of the time and discovered the “New American Cinema”. Once back in Italy, living between Rovigo and Rome, he traded one of his paintings for a Bolex camera. In 1969 he completed his first films, commencing an exploration of photography that still continues today. Gioli’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Centre G. Pompidou, Paris, France; Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (Monaco); Musée Nicéphore Nièpce, Châlon-sur-Saône, France; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy; MART, Rovereto, Italy; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; among others. His films have screened at San Francisco MoMA, New York Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinemathèque Francaise, Paris, France; Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin, Italy, among many others. His works are in the collections of Galleria Nazionale d’art Moderna, Rome, Italy; Centre G. Pompidou, Paris, France; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum of Modern Art, New York. Paolo Gioli will participate in the 2015 Venice Biennial. He lives and works in Lendinara, Italy.

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