So Sorry, 2019
Bepi Ghiotti’s research ranges from photography to video, from performance to sculpture. Deeply influenced by the epochal changes we are experiencing, his work often raises questions and reflections on the relationship between the human being, time and the places with which he relates through a critical vision of contemporary identity.
Overbearing and fragile figure at the same time, the human presence is often portrayed in dialogue with a solemn nature, within which a series of symbolic and provocative actions force the dialogue between the two.
Bepi Ghiotti, So Sorry, 2019, single channel video HD with sound, 02’40”. Courtesy l’artista
A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE CURATORS AND THE ARTIST
Bepi, in one of your latest works, entitled So Sorry, you make an emblematic gesture. Immersed in a mountain landscape of extraordinary beauty (we are near the Colle del Nivolet), you proceed on your knees in the direction of the horizon. The action is very clear: a man prostrate to the world seems to be looking for forgiveness. We do not see your face, we do not know how much regret you express, however, the feeling of emotion is very strong.
In such a particular historical period, you take on, as an artist, the responsibility of making a gesture that is not only personal, but collective.
I find that our daily dissatisfaction is linked to a constant search for utopias that distract us from the real condition in which we live, and this causes me a certain unease. In this video I wanted to emphasize this component of our existence. I wanted to apologize to nature for the way we treat it, for how we are unable to give it its proper value. I took it upon myself to apologize for everyone, hoping that, perhaps, a reflection on our responsibility towards nature might have done someone some good.
I find very interesting the use you make of the body in your works. Before So Sorry you employed it for other videos such as Carponi (2018), My Dear Richard (2017), In Between (2017), Pathless Land (2015), Water Lines (2016). The somewhat performative actions reveal a strong sense of empathy between a human body and a mountain, river, forest or woodland.
This you being physically in nature, about to experience, leads me to reflect on our need to develop a new “sense of place.” According to Hung Ruyu, from National Chiayi University in Taiwan, “the authentic sense of place is significant for us to rethink and re-envision nature as interconnected with us.”
It is good that every now and then individuality is put aside, leaving room for an active exchange that brings us to be in tune with nature. In my works I search for an alchemy of subtle balances that inevitably passes through the positioning of my body in space. The way in which our body moves in the world determines our relationship with it, in this sense in my actions the movements of the body are an integral part of the dialogue with the environment that surrounds me.
The relationship/approach to nature over the course of your work has changed. How do you think it might evolve further as a result of the current situation?
In this scenario it’s a matter of still looking for the values and meanings close to nature and daily life from which no one is excluded and finding ways to derive spaces for free thought. Clearings in the woods where man, who as Beuys says “is the guardian of an energy that can modify the world,” will have to identify the ways to use this energy to continue to deserve the role he has earned and live this responsibility by adapting to the conditions that will come his way.