Transit 3: Raffaella Crispino | Eden Bannet

a cura di Adriana Rispoli| Eugenio Viola| Maayan Sheleff
Museo Madre, Napoli 23.10.09 | 30.11.09
CCA – The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, 10.10.09 | 30.01.10

Transit 3 is the third step of the homonym project that links young Neapolitan artists with artists coming from other cities of the Middle- East basin. After the experiences in Cairo and Istanbul (where Transit 2 is displayed until November 9th at PiST/// space), the MADRE Museum twins itself with Tel Aviv through the work of the Neapolitan artist Raffaella Crispino and the Israeli Eden Bannet.
As already experimented, the project is composed of two separated times and spaces: the first step takes place at the MADRE Museum Project Room from October 23rd to November 30th and the second one at the CCA in Tel Aviv from December 10th to January 30th 2010.
Despite their different languages and aesthetics, the two artists share the same “voyeuristic” glance that points out a series of contradictions common to both the Mediterranean cities: holiness and profanity, joie de vivre and fascination for the feeling of death, poverty and richness, ancientness and modernity.
Eden Bannet interprets the role of “artist-tourist” in an ironical way, with a critical and detached look, indispensable to seize the differences and fascinations of far-off realities.
One is introduced to her estranging modus operandi with The Beginning: The artist is born in her Hotel Room, a video realized even before knowing the city of Naples, yet “savouring” its chaos from inside: her hotel room becomes the incubator of her own expectations. Luminous, to some extent surrealistic, the hotel’s room is nothing but a container of transitory meanings. Like the museum, it is a “container” that is filled with meaning through the artist’s transit. It is a dematerialising strategy whose matter counterpoint are the frottage of the manholes that deluge Naples’s streets, the result of a series of the artist’s “daily performances” amongst the city’s streets. From being a symbol of the socio-urban decay the manhole becomes a trap door/ a diaphragm/ a point of access into another city and it fills itself with unexpected aesthetic values. Naples stratification, result of its millenary history, is one of the aspects that most fascinated the Israeli artist, to the point that she established visceral relationships with its inhabitants and with its underground, full of tangles and mysteries.
Interested in the materials’ inner meaning and in the history hidden inside the objects, Bannet creates sculptures with found objects that activate an osmosis between the urban chaotic life and the Apollonian calm of the museum: The Ephesus Artemis of the nearby Archaeological Museum is transformed in a precarious and ironical installation.
In a different way Raffaella Crispino searches for the concurrence of conflicting elements in a delicate unsaturated fresco. The dazzling light of the South alternates with the tourists’ flashes at the Holy Sepulchre and the glitter of the fabrics in Tel Aviv’s streets. It becomes the recurring theme of a deeply evocative story by images.
“Physical and cultural dazzle” (R.C.) in a city that seems to live intensively each moment, where proud young people- almost like Balilla- trains at the beach, while not far away the queue at the checkpoint throws us in a completely different situation.
Enhanced by the expert use of frames and highly shaded black and white, it blows a feeling of suspense and timelessness that recalls the best of Italian cinema.
Accompanied by the notes of “The voice of Peace”, a radio station that used to broadcast from a boat in the offing of Tel Aviv between 1973 and 1993, and then by a gloomy and disquieting sound resulting from the manipulation of the jingle of that radio, the video releases the same feeling that one could feel during his stay in the Holy Land. The noise made by the helicopters alternates with the other one coming from the fans located in the touristy places, the holiness of Jerusalem interchanges with the scars of the Bethlehem’s wall that divides Israel and Palestine.
The installation is completed by a series of drawing whose measures are reported like in military cataloguing, witnessing in this way the furnishings that Palestinians are accustomed in taking with themselves through the “gate-cage”: the tiny passages at the check-points among the two countries.

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