Matt's Gallery's first exhibition of 2019, Hail the new Etruscan #2 marks a new direction in Oona Grimes' practice as she presents, for the first time, a series of film works.
In 2018 Grimes spent 8 months on a fellowship at The British School at Rome. As she worked, her thoughts kept returning to Italian Cinema - from the Neorealists to late Fellini. She took walks in the early morning to enjoy the city before the crowds; gradually the walks and the films got woven together in Grimes thoughts, dreams and work. Grimes began to make video recordings, not acting she says, but 'drawing the moment.'
She began to focus on particular sequences with specific relevance to time and place. Singular actions are repeated in order to be inhabited and comprehended. The resulting works are playful, humorous and touching. Grimes makes visible the language of film–both the learning and losing of it–revelling in the omissions, the discontinuity, the patches and the bad repairs.
The black and white films intersperse 'iPhone rushes' with snippets of 16mm footage. mozzarella in carrozza references Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948), focussing on the excruciating scene in a restaurant that Antonio and his son, Bruno can't afford - a scene of misplaced pride, disillusion and the vivid class divide between them and the diners. u. e u. draws from Pier Paolo Pasolini's Uccellacci e Uccellini(1966).
Walking, watching, hand gestures, sign language, language of hands, mis-translation, mis-communication, bird language, dance language, drapes and folds, pleats and drapes, fabric fashion folds all seep into the work.
Six films, shown on iPads, will be included in the exhibition, ranging from 3 to 10 minutes in length.
The films are complemented by two new series of drawings which will be shown in Hail the new Etruscan #1, at Danielle Arnaud, London, 12 January - 9 February 2019.
Oona Grimes is represented by Danielle Arnaud.