Angelica [film/video]

Cowan, Judith (2013) Angelica [film/video]. [Film/Video]

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Abstract

Angelica is a film about inversions: looking at, seeing things from an unusual perspective, behind stage, in between scenes, the sidelines, unnoticed marginalia. All of the moments and perspectives one does not expect to see, lying as they do outside of our daily purview.

Made in collaboration with Museo Internazionale delle Marionette Antonio Pasqualino (MIMAP) and building on their history of artist collaboration, Cowan worked closely with Sicilian puppeteers, the museum curators Director Rosario Perricone and Paola Nicita. Combining the sculptural and the filmic, it proposes a new paradigm for perspective; one that simultaneously conflates and deconstructs audience, participant, and performer.

Taking as a loose starting point Boiardo’s tales of ‘Orlando in Love’, the film forms a simultaneous re-scripting of two parallel narratives: that of Angelica, the sole female character figured within the stories; and the puppet theatre itself – its traditional machinations, performers, and performances.

Angelica is conventionally a voiceless character with no individual character or agency. Here, she is liberated from both the tales and the theatre, moving out onto the streets of Palermo. She is now the focus, the main character in her own story, active and animated as scenes of death, love, and war are acted out around her. She watches and observes, moving from place to place, leaving us to wonder what she is thinking and to where she is going. What new life might exists outside the confines of traditional narrative?

Mini cameras attached to the puppets and to the puppeteers catch a variety of movement, surprising images, and unusual vantage points. As these views are spliced into one narrative, one senses the shifting, unstable nature of what we often take at face value to be true – both about the world around us, and the stories we tell ourselves within it. Even Angelica changes from moment to moment, embodied by the many different versions of herself, puppets ranging in time period from the 17th Century to present-day.

In Angelica, no view is singular or predictable, no narrative or character entirely coherent. It is rather the gaps between these things that Cowan draws our attention to, asking us to consider how the roles of puppet and performer, theatre and performance, are constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed at any given moment.

Angelica was exhibited at MIMAP 11-25 October, 2013, and a publication about the work (ISBN 978-88-97035-12-1) includes three essays and high quality print and design. The film was screened in discussion at ‘Arte e Antropologica’, Quai Branly, Paris, November 2013 and Cowan’s article about the project will be published their journal (2014).

Item Type: Film/Video
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Art Practice as Investigation cluster
Item ID: 11904
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 09:55
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 18:27
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/11904

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