Valerio Rocco Orlando
Dialogue with the Unseen
June 7 – 16, 2019
Opening: Thursday, June 6, 2019 – 6.30PM
Mudec presents Dialogue with the Unseen, a solo show by Valerio Rocco Orlando, curated by Alessandra Pioselli, which will run from 7th to 16th June in the Khaled al-Asaad Space of Cultures.
Filmed by the artist in Israel and Palestine between 2014 and 2019, Dialogue with the Unseen will be shown for the first time to the public as a two-channel video installation, with a workshop and public talk complementing the exhibition. The film is a spiritual journey and political pilgrimage in the Holy Land, a live recording of conversations between two Palestinian men and a Palestinian woman who share their unique personal experience of God, nature, and society. Existential, spiritual, philosophical and political nuances inform the dialogues about the invisible and invisibility between Saleh Bakri, an actor, and icon of the Middle Eastern cinema and theatre scene, and two young Palestinian authors. Through the eyes of rapper Eisa Khalifa gazing upon Nazareth at sunset from Mount Precipice and the voice of poetess Asmaa Azaizeh with her tangible testimony on what remains of old Haifa, Dialogue with the Unseen explores the sense of belonging and the cultural identity of a community that endures. Silence replaces the voices in one of the two projections of the video installation. Saleh Bakri crosses the lunar landscape of the Israeli desert, the Ramon Crater, in a continuous loop that renders the image hypnotic and metaphorical.
The collaboration between Valerio Rocco Orlando and Saleh Bakri begins in the Summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, when the two artists decide to co-write an alternative narrative to the war and the occupation through a portrayal of the new generation living in Israel and Palestine.
The exhibition has seen the participation of a number of associations that, in various capacities, are engaged throughout Milan and Italy in the study of Arab culture or are otherwise active in the Middle East. The aim of their collaboration is to involve students and the local community in a public reflection on the topics addressed by Dialogue with the Unseen.
Curated by Alessandra Pioselli
In collaboration with
Assopace Palestina, Città Mondo, Mudec, Fondazione Mon Soleil, Università degli Studi di Milano – Dipartimento di Scienze della Mediazione Linguistica e di Studi Interculturali
Saleh Bakri (Bi’ina, 1977), Palestinian actor with Israeli citizenship, son of the prominent actor and film director Mohammad Bakri. He makes his debut in 2007 with The Band’s Visit, an internationally acclaimed Israeli film. This role will bestow the Ophir award and his interpretation garners recognition at the Jerusalem Film Festival. In 2009 he co-stars in The Time That Remains written and directed by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman and, in 2011 in The Source by Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu, both presented at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2013 he plays the lead in Salvo, the film is awarded at Cannes. In 2015 at the Royal Court Theatre in London he recites in Fireworks, a play by Dalia Taha about the lives of two families during the Gaza occupation. In 2017 he wins best actor award at the Dubai International Film Festival for his interpretation in Wajib – The Wedding Invitation written and directed by Annemarie Jacir.
Valerio Rocco Orlando (Milan, 1978), following a Degree in Dramatic Art at Università Cattolica di Milano and a master’s degree in Film Direction at Queen Mary University in London, he creates articulated installations, films and books that, poised between choral dialogue and intimist portrait, represent the relationship between individual and community, in order to rethink and reactivate the sense of belonging in contemporary society. By engaging art as a mean for analyses and reciprocal knowledge, his search elicits an open, plural and personal discourse, from the aesthetic and the conceptual viewpoint, exploring the osmosis between institutions, academia and the social sphere. His work has been exhibited in several international museums.