Lodovica Guarnieri
& Lorenzo Gerbi

Nabati (2016)

HD Video, 32’, with sound

Introduction by Screen City Biennial curators, Daniela Arriado and Tanya Toft Ag

What you are about to experience is a video essay in four chapters, which deals with migrations of economy and power resulting from a country’s colonial past. The artists use tourism as a tool for research into complexities underlying Australia’s national identity and colonial origin as part of the British Empire, specifically into current neo-colonial relationships that sustain Australian national identity and its narratives. The four chapters draw attention on connections between Australia and the Arab and Persian worlds in the areas of sport, land, defense and borders. Nabati looks at different typologies of journeys and transformation that span from uranium to DNA, and from humans to weapons. You are taken on a journey – from above and walking – through the city of Melbourne, which is mixed with glimpses of video revealing the complex relationship between Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The stories told in Nabati cross national and global territories, questioning the base of Western ideals such as democracy, equality and freedom – ideals also underlying a recently destabilised European Union.

Formulating as something in between a web series, a web-documentary and video art, Nabati experiments with the format of content in the moving image. We have chosen to present this work in the Screen City Biennial online exhibition because the work on the one hand contributes to challenging the format of an “online exhibition”, and on the other hand because the experience of the work in itself benefits from audiences’ free navigation and experimentation with viewing (and/or listening) to the videos in their own way. When watching the four videos comprising Nabati, you are encouraged to spend time with them while feeling free to switch between them, and perhaps watch them multiple times. You may wish to play with turning off the audio, or only listen to the audio, in order to allow for different associations to arise between the images and the narrative. Feel free to get lost in the work.

About the artwork

The work was available 12 October – 1 December 2017.

Online Exhibition