LUCA COCLITE and KAMYAR BINESHTARIG WIN THE VAA-VIDEO ART AWARD

The award ceremony took place a few hours ago in a busy, crowded and happy Italian Art Day at the Tsoga Centre in Philippi, Cape Town. The event is organized by the Centro Luigi Di Sarro with the contribution of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Pretoria and the collaboration of Rainbow Media NPO and will offer the participants the opportunity to discover the vibrant artistic scene of the township in a succession of video projections inside the community centre in Samora Machel, managed by the youth of Ubuntubethu.

Luca Coclite, winner for the Italian category, comes from Gagliano del Capo, near Lecce. His artwork, Solitary Gardens, is inspired by the work of Elaine Summers, Fantastic Gardens(1964). The video is split into three different parts, moving from ‘giardino’ (garden), a metaphor of someone who is seeking happiness and perfection, and taking us through a great variety of well-known places in New York city representing an individualistic and solitary picture of human condition. The movie is made up of ‘Human Botanical Garden’, ‘One day everything you see will be invisible’ and ‘Anti-Souvenir’, portraying an unstable reality flowing from an earthly paradise to an illusion. Here, the solitude from the Winter Garden Atrium, the artificiality from the Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the dioramas from scientific museums and, lastly, the deterioration of forgotten objects at the Dead Horse Bay lead us, in Rilke’s terminology, ‘from the visible world towards something timeless, inward and invisible’.

Kamyar Bineshtarigh, winner of the South African category, is a student at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town. Seeing homeless people using newspaper posters to sleep on in the streets of Cape Town, Bineshtarigh found the inspiring motive to create his short film, Shelter. He found it ironic that posters depicting the government’s promises for a sustainable living for the poor, were, in fact, used by the poor for a more comfortable sleep in the streets. Chuma, the actress in the film, is a fellow student at Ruth Prowse; she was a homeless artist that started drawing by burning pieces of wood turning them into charcoal and drawing portraits of other homeless people around her. She also assisted in developing the concept so that it is closest to the reality of a homeless person in the streets of Cape Town, and introduced Bineshtarigh to other homeless artists, including the trumpet players in the film.