ROLLERS BY: SISSI/BENASSI
FRANCESCA MININI MILAN AND TIZIANA DI CARO GALLERY NAPLES
Short video from performance / Shooting and editing: Riccardo Fedele e Michele Piperno
They have you enter in a large, completely dark space. You don’t see a thing. Then, slowly, your eyes adjust, and you begin to see some shapes and figures. You see that there is a table full of electronics, and behind that table is Jacopo Benassi. On one side you recognize a female figure wearing a fitted tracksuit that highlights the lines of the body. Sissi.
She has something on her feet. She begins to move, and you can understand that they’re roller skates. She moves slowly around the space, like she’s studying it, taking measure. She skates around Jacopo and the table like a shark. She moves close to the public, almost brushing up against them, provoking them, still in the dark, still going slowly. She begins to pick up speed. The evolutions become more and more complex and you begin to understand that the artist is very confident on her skates. Sissi continues like this, for some minutes, passing ever closer to the walls, to obstacles, in the dark, arriving just centimetres from the public. Then her evolutions begin to develop into circles, tighter and tighter, getting closer to Jacopo.
At a certain point a loud, grating sound comes from the speakers and fills the whole room. Then another, precisely when Sissi passes a particular point, the point opposite of where she passed when the first sound emerged, on the other side of the room. It is a different sound, still cacophonous, but different. So, you understand that Jacopo has positioned two metallic panels in those spots, one with an electric guitar and the other a microphone. His hands begin to move around the instruments on the table. He samples sounds, distorts them, amplifies them, rewinds them, layers them. But in the meantime, Sissi continues to produce sounds again, torturing the panels installed on the ground, in innovative ways, with the wheels, with the toe and heel, jumping and falling on them. She makes the sounds for Jacopo, he needs them, and he assembles them, mixes them, lets them overlap. And the noise grows. And the volume of the noise grows. It becomes stronger and more pressing, more and more excited. Sissi continues to skate around, elegantly, in ever riskier ways, and faster still. A kind of sonic tapestry is built, packed with sounds, filling the entire space.
When the correct level of pathos is arrived at, Jacopo comes out from behind the table—the noise keeps going—and he takes a camera. Sissi continues to go around the room but the two begin to listen and study. Jacopo tries to join Sissi, almost in a hunt. And Sissi begins to flirt with him, going after him and then running away. Jacopo begins taking photographs. The flash is extremely violent, after all this time in the dark Sissi seems like she is burning, the room and the public like a nuclear flash. It lasts for a fraction of a second and then it is dark again. Sissi turns and escapes. She is already on the other side of the room. But just in that moment, a few seconds behind the flash, an enormous photo is projected on the wall. Sissi’s image is frozen in an unpredictable pose, in the act of movement, in the attempt to do something beautiful and at the same time maintain balance in the dark. The photo remains for just a few seconds, dimly illuminating the room. But Jacopo continues, he follows her, another photo, another image is projected on the wall. Then another, and another, and so on for a few minutes. It is a study of the body, of movement, of the beauty of something that even in the smallest fraction, frozen in the shot, maintains all of its strength and elegance, all of its pain and fatigue. It is the dance that meets photography and the perception of the body, but within a performance. They are two bodies already full of meaning in and of themselves. One is a large body, frightening, moving with a bulky presence in the room, chasing the other body, a body that is small, agile, but also powerful and explosive. In the photo projected on the wall there is also of course, Sissi’s face, which we have gotten to know through numerous past performances and tableau-vivant. It is a serious face, that taunts Jacopo, watches him with hatred, that flirts, that pretends non to see him.
We enter into the third part of the work. Sissi moves close to a wall in the space, she stops with her shoulders against it, arms open, she bends a foot behind her, and out comes another sound. There is another guitar attached vertically to the wall. She plays it, violates it, mortifies it. Jacopo continues to shoot photos. In the images Sissi seems almost crucified on the guitar, but her face tells a different story, the contrary, it is the guitar that is crucified upon her body. The sounds continue to accumulate. The rhythm is continually louder, tighter, more syncopated. Sissi continues to skate around and return to the guitar on the wall. Jacopo continues to take photos. The photos continue to appear on the wall. Until everything reaches a zenith of intensity. And ends.
And it leaves you there, sad because you want more.
BENASSI PLAYS BENASSI
PLAYED LIVE WITH KHAN REMIX BY JOCHEN ARBEIT AND KHAN
“Benassi plays Benassi” is a performance where the photographer plays his body with radio-controlled microphones then samples them. At the same time, he takes photographs projected on a wall in real-time. The inner need to produce sounds not knowing how to play any instrument comes from the work realized in his former club, BTOMIC, where he met underground artists from all over the world. The album that comes from this work was created in collaboration with two great Berlin artists, Khan of Finland and Jochen Arbeit, who produced two remixes. The work will be divided into two parts, A side and B side, with the original sound and the two remixes. The fanzine with photographs taken during the performance will be found inside the album.
“Benassi plays Benassi” è una performance dove il fotografo suona il suo corpo con dei microfoni radiocomandati e li campiona. Contemporaneamente, scatta le fotografie che diventano gigantografie proiettate su un muro. L’esigenza di produrre dei suoni pur non sapendo suonare nessuno strumento viene dal lavoro svolto dentro il suo ex locale, il BTOMIC, dove si è confrontato con artisti della scena underground provenienti da ogni parte del mondo. Il disco che nasce da questo lavoro è stato realizzato con la collaborazione di due grandi artisti berlinesi, Khan of Finland e Jochen Arbeit, che hanno prodotto due remix. Il disco sarà diviso in due parti, lato A e lato B, con il suono originale e i due remix. Inoltre al suo interno verrà inserita la fanzine con le fotografie scattate durante la performance.