Our ongoing series that gives viewers a chance to catch up on some of the best video works from the past decade or so – or to get to love video for the first time.
In Orbite Rosse (Red Orbit) by Italian artist Grazia Toderi, nocturnal images of cities are superimposed and layered, continuously transforming and altering. The use of ‘the city’ as a mythical and symbolic image of extreme beauty and horror takes on concepts relating to human philosophies of ‘heaven and hell’.
Toderi’s work is distinctive for the innovative way in which she uses video to delve into a microcosm of events that appear insignificant but are in fact loaded with powerful reflections on the human condition. A dialogue with literature and especially painting is central to Toderi’s aesthetic, and her videos actually seem to reject the immediate dynamism that distinguishes the medium.
In describing the work, the artist’s website states that she ‘chose to project video because her material is light that travels and that appears when it encounters a surface, and also because it can be transmitted simultaneously throughout the world. Light also makes our existence possible, arriving from the stars, a mysterious energy with which we play and live. And it is while looking at the light that draws luminous geometries in the sky –the constellations– that man has built cities, seeking a continuous relationship between sky and earth.’
Grazia Toderi was born in Padua, Italy, in 1963, and attended the fine art academy of Bologna. Moving to Milan in 1992, she first came to critical attention with video works presented at Aperto in the 45th Venice Biennale. Her work has been widely exhibited internationally, most recently with a one-person exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, earlier this year.
Orbite Rosse was originally made for inclusion in the exhibition Making Worlds at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.