StraightUp @ExtraDry

ExtraDry is a video art project born from the desire to draw contemporary art out from its institutional spaces and onto the walls of Dry Milano, Via Solferino 33 and Viale Vittorio Veneto 28.
Following the ExtraDry project curated by Peep-Holefor three editions from 2013-2016, Case Chiuse arrives at Dry with a new format and presents StraightUp@ExtraDry, an award for young artists. In step with the ideas of the founders of Dry, StraightUp@ExtraDry wants to give visibility to the creativity emerging from the extremely current research of young artists expressing themselves through video.

In step with the ideas of the founders of Dry Milano, StraightUp@ExtraDry wants to give visibility to the creativity emerging from the extremely of young artists expressing themselves through video and support their future research by the assignment of one awardand the acquisition of the winning work by the Dry collection. In the first edition, in 2017/2018, were presented the videos of Jacopo Rinaldi, Ruben Spini, Paolo Brambilla, Natália Trejbalová and Valentina Furian. 

Dry Milano is defined by its strong contemporary feel. It offers the very best quality while remaining accessible and informal, making it an ideal location to exhibit video art and create a new kind of synergy between the work and the public. With the launch of StraightUp@ExtraDry, Dry Milano proves once againits commitment, since 2013, to art projects and offers a chance to show contemporary art to a different public.  

The selection committee for the StraightUp@ExtraDryaward consists of Simone Bertuzzi and Simone Trabucchi, the Invernomuto duo, and Paola Clerico, creator of Case Chiuse project. The jury consists of Ilaria Bonacossa, director of Artissima, Paolo Zani, founder of Galleria Zero, and two of Dry’s founders and art collectors Bernardo Attolico and Tiziano Vudafieri. Coordination and curatorial assistance by Ginevra D’oria. Each artist selected to participate will have to present at least three videos which will be projected at Dry Via Solferino and the new Dry Vittorio Veneto.
December 27th 2019- March 23rd, 2020
Alessandro Di Pietro
Alessandro Di Pietro (Messina, 1987) is the second artist selected for the second edition of the edition of the StraightUp@ExtraDry award. 

What is remarkable about his research is the intensity of the narrative potential. Whether developed through a single work, a video, an exhibition or a series of exhibitions, the element that captures our attention is the complex and intricate story that is narrated, or rather that it could be narrated. Alessandro Di Pietro uses storytelling in a singular and coherent way: while he unveils the tale, he conceals it. In creating stories full of "monstrous" characters and plots that sometimes draws from autobiographical cues with multiple narrative schemes that end up blending and confusing, he pushes his research to other limits, leaving some fundamental elements suspended. The spectator can do nothing but enter into these dystopian worlds and be carried away by the restlessness and strength of these elements. Yet, if the imagination gives us the feeling of being able to solve the tale, we become passive interferences ourselves.

For the StraightUp@ExtraDry award Alessandro Di Pietro proposed a selection of three videos that retrace the last five years of his research.
NEW VOID – Il film, 2014
video, 1920 x 1080p, 30 min, stereo
Music by Enrico Boccioletti ft. Death in Plains 

This work is perhaps the most important video work by Alessandro Di Pietro and since 2014 it has been presented  in important screenings like: Glitch -Interferenze tra Arte e Cinema, curated by Davide Giannella, PAC -Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan and OCAT, Shangai, 2014; VISIO -Next Generation Moving Images, curated by Leonardo Bigazzi in the occasion of Lo Schermo dell'Arte, CCC STROZZINA, Firenze, 2015; Off Space in the occasion of the Locarno Film Festival, LA RADA, Locarno, 2017; VIDEO LANGUAGES, Rome, 2018. 

For the presentation of New Void - Il film within the spaces ofDry Milan, the artist has made a new cut of the video to adapt it to the needs of the place, keeping the structure and meaning of the work intact.

New Void - Il film is the result of a performative gesture internal to the cinematographic linguistic system. Such gesture is not based on the use of a camera as a tool for the production of images, but employs an Easypix manual scanner that identifies as material of the movie the layer that is closer to the artist’s hand: the screen of his Macbook Pro 15,4 inch. Starting from the pre-existing movie Enter the Void (Gaspar Noè, 2009), the new scanned images as RAW material. This appropriation process, which almost quashes the aesthetic references of its source, creates the frames needed to build the narrative structure of the new film.
The result is a refined and complex conceptual operation that generates a film full of autobiographical references and somehow re-discusses, through its protagonist RASCO, the role and responsibility of the artist in the production system of images and works of art.
“The fall of the Spheres” has modified the perceptual point of view on the nature of the entities that used to live in the bi- dimensional world. Their environment has suffered the intrusion of the dimensions of 'height' and of 'depth', depriving the inhabitants of this new landscape of a reference system. But an anomaly occurred among the men of this new generation: RASCO. He is the only one still able to flatten himself to the level of the “Ground Line”. Thanks to his arm, he extracts an addictive substance called RAW from the cave of Gold:P Mine, that he then deals to the population. Watching NEW VOID we are projected into the last 3 cms of awareness of the protagonist.

New Void – Il film sees the collaboration of Enrico Boccioletti ft. Death in Plains, who created troughs his sound project Translationships 2011-2013, the original soundtrack and sound.
FELIX_Reloaded, 2018
video, 1080p x 1920, 17’07’’, stereo
Directed byAlessandro Di Pietro
Music by Enrico Boccioletti
Sound Editing by Mostri contro Fantasmi 


FELIX_Reloaded is the result of a performative documentation of theexhibition project that was on view at Marsèlleria, Milan, in 2018.

The video is composed by six precise moments when Owen, the main character, pops up and acts in relationship with the sculptures setup and the space. The soundtrack PerFelix designed by Enrico Boccioletti (visual artist and musician),activating the exhibition space, and the text curated by Giovanna Manzotti (curator and journalist) are the main features of this meta-documentary operation.
Felix, an antagonistic fictional character belongs to Alessandro Di Pietro’s quadrilogy (Tomb Writer - solve et coagula, 2016;DowngradeVampire, 2016; Towards Orion Stories from the backseats, 2017;FELIX, 2018). The final chapter of the quadrilogy started during Di Pietro’s fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in February 2018.
The previous work developed in Rome The self-fulfilling Owen prophecy can be read as a prequel to the current iteration.Felix can be read as a forward jump-cut in the narrative structure of the quadrilogy, projecting Owen in a near future, a time when his supposed prophecy had been fulfilled.
The space that hosts this final chapter is somewhat already aware of this condition, anticipating changes related to rites of passage: from childhood towards the cultural implications of the object.

FELIX_Reloaded was presented in 2018 at Marsèlleria’s New York space on the occasion of the Marsèlleria New York Screenings and at the OpenStudios of the American Academy in Rome.
MOSTRI CONTRO FANTASMI, 2018
video, 1920 x 1080p, 40 min, stereo
Directed by Alessandro Di Pietro e Enrico Boccioletti
Music by Mostri contro Fantasmi


This video was produced by Alessandro DiPietro and Enrico Boccioletti for the performance Monsters vs Ghosts, held on October 19th 2018 at the OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni inTurin, on the occasion of Dancing is what we make of falling, video and art exhibition curated by Valentina Lacinio and Samuele Piazza. The two artists have been working together for several years on some specific projects, including the three videos presented at StraightUp @ ExtraDry.

Monsters vs. Ghosts is a dialogue between two entities in the intensity sisters but enemies in the language.Through their personal research, both artists often investigate allegories and characters from fiction that are sentimentally and psychologically familiar, both in the spatial and objectual condition of Alessandro Di Pietro and in that text-image relationship of Enrico Boccioletti.
Di Pietro for the first time gives voice to the protagonists of four installation episodes in which the process of writing the psychological profiles of these characters developed together with the design of proto-narrative environments, born analogously with TombWriter (solve et coagula), 2016; Downgrade Vampire, 2016; TowardsOrion Stories from the backseats, 2017; FELIX, 2018. Instead, the materialization of Boccioletti’s acousmatic spectres refers to three design blocks developed between 2016 and 2018, with the audio-visual installations FromSettlement to Nomadism, A shade of what remains unsaid and Variazione:Intraducibile.
The performance, conceived and produced on the occasion of the exhibition at the OGR in Turin, triggers a dynamic of encounter between two voices, hitherto isolated or unexpressed, which passively manifested themselves as real in the paradigm of a deferred fruition of the exhibition moment. This storytelling, which includes the video presented here, takes the form of a television crossover episode, in which the two imaginations collide creating a dialogic tension: in doubt, in conflict, and in the resulting emotional dimension, Monsters and Ghosts meet and they are enemies, but sincere enemies.  
Alessandro Di Pietro
Alessandro Di Pietro (Messina, 1987) lives and works in Milan.

His artistic research focuses on the processes of normalization and deviation from the standard systems of language production and monstrosity production.
His practice ranges in the use of different media and finds space also within the cinematographic media thanks to which the artist can develop new production strategies through proto-narrative installation environments, technologies, objects and stories.

In 2013 he graduated in Graphic Arts at theAccademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan and in 2012 he participated to the eighteenth edition of the Advanced Course in Visual Arts of Fondazione Ratti,Como. Over the years he has participated in numerous workshops and residences, among the most recent we mention Q-Rated in the context of the Rome Quadriennale (Lecce, 2018) and the American Academy in Rome thanks to the CY Twombly Fellowship 2017-2018. The artist also has worked on many publications, the most recent Mostri contro Fantasmi in collaboration with Enrico Boccioletti and presented with SEPTEMBER BOOKS at ICA Milan (2019).

Among the main solo shows: Felix, Marsèlleria (Milan, 2018), Short stories of fires and carbon, RAUM, performance produced by XING (Bologna, 2018); Towards Orion: Stories from the backseat, La Plage (Paris, 2017); Tiziano and Giorgione (double solo show with Michele Gabriele), Barriera (Turin, 2016); New Void, LaRada (Locarno, 2016); Double Cross (double solo show with Jacopo Miliani), CAB Center d'Art Bastille (Grenoble, 2015); La table basse,FPAC Bad New Business (Milan, 2014).Among the main group exhibitions: TheTesseract and Open Studios, American Academy in Rome (Rome, 2018); That’s it, MAMbo (Bologna, 2018); Figure di spago - Pratiche narrative, Baruchello Foundation (Rome, 2018); Dancing is what we make of falling, OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni (Turin, 2018); I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, Fondazione Baruchello (Rome,2017); Radieuse, Italian Institute of Culture (Brussels, 2017); [[[NOT]]]so close with the TOMB WRITER (Solve et Coagula) project in the context of the GaMec prize 2016, Residenza Casarotto (Bergamo, 2016); Orestiade Italiana, in the context of the Rome Quadriennale, graphic contribute withToni Hildebrandt, Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome, 2016); VISIO - NextGeneration Moving Images, La Strozzina Firenze (2015); Glitch - Interferenze tra Arte e Cinema, PAC Milan(2014).

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