AboutOae is a recently completed video work which takes Italy's colonial occupation of Libya as its subject matter. Patrizio Di Massimo examines this dark chapter in his native Italy's history by overlapping excerpts of his own footage with black and white documentary and archive material taken from The Lion in the Desert, a film made in 1981 by Mustapha Akkad and censored in Italy at the time for its exposé of empire building and military atrocities. Filmed in high-definition colour on the streets of modern day Tripoli and amongst historical ruins across Libya, the artist sought out the monuments and architectural remnants of both Ancient Rome and more recently Fascist rule from 1911-1940.
Interweaving both seductive and shocking images with a soundtrack made up of different languages and popular music, Di Massimo has created a complex collage that fuses past and present in an ambiguous filmic travel journal. The exhibition is part of Art in the Auditorium, a collaborative project organised by the Whitechapel Gallery with institutions from Europe, Asia, South America and the USA to provide an international showcase for the work of some of the most exciting young artists working with film, video and animation today. These venues include Ballroom Marfa, Texas; Fundacion PROA, Buenos Aires; Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; The Institute for the Re-adjustment of Clocks, Istanbul; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
Recently graduated from the Slade School of Art, London, Di Massimo was selected by Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo.