Maria Iorio + Raphael Cuomo

Appunti del passaggio

Appunti del passaggio reconstructs forgotten episodes related to migration from Italy to Switzerland in the 1960s, which was characterized by immigrant workers being restricted to the sphere of production, by discrimination and rising xenophobia, and by the use of “health risks” as a strategy to control immigration and the legality of border crossings. Following the narration of a young woman, which gradually gives way to a polyphonic narrative, Appunti del passaggio gives precedence to the accounts of the people who lived out the historical event in question from a subordinate position – accounts that were recorded and later used as transcripts for the making of the film. It also recirculates and remediates archival images, taking them out of their institutional framework so that the people who were once in the place of those depicted in the pictures can comment on these images.

The film revisits different locations indicated by the protagonists in the course of repeated conversations: villages in the south of Italy which have been deserted by their inhabitants, the border zone in the Alps, the facilities of the former Grenzsanität in Brig, a modernist building used as an immigrant health inspection center until the mid-1990s. The film concentrates on the subjective, micro dimension, retracing the trajectories of the protagonists and letting their accounts unfold.

Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo are an artist duo based in Geneva and Berlin. In the recent years, their collaborative artistic practice involving long-term research has investigated the economies of visibility in relation to past and present mobility regimes over the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Their last projects examine the intertwined histories of migration and cinema and manifest a counter-memory of the “economic miracle”. The resulting body of work brings together films, performative moments, collected documents, architectural displays. Iorio/Cuomo’s practice includes a curatorial approach. They currently focus on decolonial “minor cinemas” and previously curated Unfinished histories – histoires en devenir, a series of exhibitions, screenings and talks that revisited the historiographies of the expanded field of moving image practices. Iorio/Cuomo have shown their work in various exhibitions and film festivals, including Documenta 14 Public Program (Athens); If Not For That Wall (CiC, Cairo); Quadriennale 16 (Rome); Visions du réel (Nyon); Logica del passaggio(Querini Stampalia, Venice); Europe. The Future of History (Kunsthaus Zürich); FID (Marseille); Twisted Realism (Argos, Brussels); Courtisane Festival (Ghent); Chewing the Scenery (54th Venice Biennale); Der Standpunkt der Aufnahme, (Arsenal, Berlin); The Maghreb Connection(Townhouse Gallery, Cairo).

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