Urban Lines


The Metropolis and the Artist
Centro Mara Meoni - Istituto storico della Resistenza Senese e dell’Età Contemporanea
Stanze della Memoria, Siena January 26 2017    read news

Urban Lines
StudioArteFuoriCentro, Rome 2008, curated by Ivana d'Agostino
video-sound installation, original music by Gianpaolo Cappelli    read news
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Urban Lines poetics   IMAGE

16:9 HD, 15:48 min, 2008  original music Gianpaolo Cappelli, esecuted by Gianpaolo Cappelli & Car_Ma


Urban Lines poetics   IMAGE

16:9 HD, 15:48 min, 2008
shooting and editing
Franca Marini
original music
Gianpaolo Cappelli
esecuted by Gianpaolo Cappelli & Car_Ma (Carlo Torrini e Maso Ricci)

3D rendering Andrés Lüer
technical assistance/digital optimization Daniele Sasson
audio synchronization Gianfranco Bernardo

special thanks to:
Domenico Fargnoli
for video editing and frames from “Incanto"


Urban Lines poetics   IMAGE

translation: Heather Holloran
While Urban Lines has no true storyline and indeed does not tell a story, it does, however, have a sense, a development of meanings created by the expressive power of images and sounds. Although its starting point is the concrete reality of the journey, it actually represents an interior journey. The spaces of a huge and far away contemporary metropolis, the skyscrapers and the streets crowded with masses of people moving chaotically, progressively lose their concrete contours and transform themselves in the internal space of the imagination where artistic creation is born. The transformation which has taken place gives rise to a renewed relationship with the collective and social dimension of existence whose essence is represented by the city.

The video begins with scenes shot from within a moving car of the New York City subway and ends with a panning shot of Rome and develops in the passage between these two diverse urban realities. The originating core of the video consists of images, specially created with computer software, of tangles of colored threads from which spring forms in motion, constantly changing as if to represent the rapid movement of thought, of ideas taking shape. Thought which is ceaseless, as seems to be suggested by these sequences of images which alternate, overlap and flow parallel to those elaborated and distorted of New York City, to those barely glimpsed of the medieval town of Siena as well as to those of the earth’s rotary motion, which allude not only to the dimension of journey and discovery but also to the cosmopolitan character of the metropolis. Ultimately they transmute into sequences created from the elaboration of pictorial and sculptural works whose forms become evanescent splashes of color with no contours as they gradually lose their material consistency.

The final part of the video opens with a sort of awakening over New York City: the eyes opening to reality, the separation from the mute, undefined and uncertain world of fantasy. A rapid progression of images, a sequence whose movement is finally linear, as if driven forward, a running male figure, lead to a slow panning shot of Rome, obscure and hazy at first, gradually becoming clearer. In spite of the references in the video to three urban realities which are, at intervals, recognizable, Urban Lines is an artwork which does not seek to be autobiographical and which aspires to a dimension and to contents which are universal through its representation of the interior world of images.

The non-figurative, non-realistic character is further emphasized by the music, an integral part of this video, for which it was specifically composed. Sounds and images tend to arouse, provoke emotions and sensations rather than to describe them. In doing so, they detach themselves not only from a naturalistic kind of structure but also from a conceptual one which denies any communicative and expressive intentionality to the artistic creation. Both the acoustic and visual material, finely elaborated, filtered, indeed aim to reach a form which, while leaving nothing to chance, is not rigidly determined beforehand but rather realized within the creative process.
The musical scores, which in the initial part of the video either flow in succession or integrate with the recorded noises of street and subway, are never simple backing nor are they sonorous transcription of the dynamics developed in the visual sequences. The latter are instead interpreted musically by a construction of sounds which is itself invention and autonomous creation. The evocative and communicative force of the images is amplified by the sounds which in their turn acquire definition through the integration with form and color in movement.
Images and sounds, each within its own language, are capable of establishing a particular dynamic of relationship in which they exalt and empower each other reciprocally until they reach peaks of notable emotional intensity.
Franca Marini, August 2008

still images