The Decades-Long Cinematic Collaboration of an Architect and Painter

Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, “Visioni del deserto (Visions from the Desert)” (2000), 16mm (courtesy Yervant Gianikian)

After meeting in 1974, painter Angela Ricci Lucchi and architect Yervant Gianikian would embark on a four-decade long cinematic collaboration, creating over 50 found footage films and works of expanded cinema. In their early career they experimented by pairing poetic films with various scents — called “cinema profumato” — but in the early ’80s they pioneered the technique they are best known for, appropriating and reimagining archival material with the help of a device they invented called the “analytical camera.” This allowed them to slow down, re-envision, and colorize these earlier documents, exposing their colonial attitudes, violence, and subjective gaze.

Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, “Animali criminali (Criminal Animals)” (1994), 16mm (courtesy Yervant Gianikian)

To honor Ricci Lucchi’s passing last year at the age of 76, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) will be screening several of the pair’s films, with a special appearance by Gianikian via Skype from Milan. Selections include their first collaboration “Erat-Sora” (1975), an 8mm short featuring several Madonnas shot by Ricci Lucchi with images layered on later by Gianikian;  “Animali criminali (Criminal Animals)” (1994), which borrows footage of animals fighting from the collection of fascist documentarist Luca Cornerio; “Visioni del deserto (Visions from the Desert)” (2000), an indictment of the colonization of Africa using images taken by a French female explorer in Tunisia and Algeria in 1931; and “Notes sur nos voyages en Russie (Notes from our Journeys to Russia)” (2010) composed of Ricci Lucchi’s watercolors of survivors and descendants of the Russian avant-garde that were originally shown on a 33-foot scroll for Documenta 14 in 2017.

When: Tuesday, October 1, 8:30pm ($6–$12)
Where: Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) (631 West 2nd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

More info at REDCAT.

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