Headlands Center for the Arts

Fiamma Montezemolo

california | visual
Artist in Residence Program 2018

Artist Statement

I work at the intersection between contemporary art and contemporary anthropology. My double training (PhD in anthropology and MFA in art) stimulates me to create site-specific, inter-disciplinary, and cross-genre interventions that build on my long-term exposure to borderlands and border zones. In the last years, I have been designing a set of intermedia practices that reflect on the border as a mobile category of experience, of imagined and conceptual mediations, disciplinary negotiations, and geopolitical articulations. In creating a wide range of intermedia practices, mainly installation and video works, I have tried to create conceptual and evocative interventions that are less about documenting, translating, or representing the Other, and more about moving alongside and contemplating the nature of desire in border zones. I have been dwelling around intensive nodes of political and poetic concerns and assembling images and material within an inter-regional ecology of sites (Mexico, Italy, United States).  Ultimately, these fieldwork-based interactions nourish my ongoing inquiry into an expanding constellation of images and concepts: trace, echo, breaking point, fold, secret, flow.

While At Headlands

My art practice is both conceptual and grounded in fieldwork research. While at the Headlands, I would like to expand this dual vocation by transforming my studio/project space in a sort of TAZ (after the book Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey) in which the military post that Headlands used to be is transformed into a laboratory of poetic, conceptual, and political interventions and collaborations, a sort of atelier in which to collaborate with other creative producers and thinkers on temporary specific projects. The first of these projects will be with architect and designer Jose’ Parral. Together we have been examining and transforming the historical Santo Stefano prison in Italy from an architectural figure of power (the panopticon) into a more poetic one. Located on an island, this ex-prison is notorious for its confinement of several political dissidents. The project consists of a reconstruction of the prison as a small-scale architectural model inside which will be inserted a digital screen with images inspired by specific desires emerging from the prisoners’ diaries: the sky, landscapes, children playing, the sea. Other projects will be developed on a weekly basis and will keep populating the space of the Project Space little by little. One will be done in collaboration with a poet and a child, one with an anthropologist, and last one with another artist. These are fellow travelers who, like me, have been reflecting on specific conceptual and affective “image-nodes”: traces, echoes, breaking points, folds, secrets, flows.

Selected Videos

Neon Afterwords

Selected Works

Personal Website

http://www.fiammamontezemolo.com