After Obstructions, the artist’s first personal show with Francesca Minini, Ali Kazma is presenting INTIMACY, his second show at the gallery in which he is showing three video works: Taxidermist, Cuisine and Absence. The first two are a part of the Obstructionsseries, which consists of 15 videos with which Ali Kazma documents various human activities linked to the production, creation, maintenance and repair of things by investigating the condition of man’s work, both artisanal and industrial.
The videos of the Obstructions series were shot in slaughterhouses, jean factories, laboratories, steelworks, important companies, and the artist himself worked with butchers, dancers and artisans: all figures who – albeit in different ways – have to do in one way or another with man and ‘body’. Taxidermist (2010) furthers this research with a reflection on the embalming process. The history of this technique is very rich and fascinating and in it one can find our often confused and contradictory approach to death as well as, obviously, to its opposite, life. For this video filmed in collaboration with the Hermes Enterprise Foundation for the travelling H-Box project, Ali went to Sallenthin in Germany where he followed the work of Thomas Bauer.
In Cuisine (2010) Ali Kazma finds himself in a restaurant with 3 Michelin stars in Salieu (France), the Relais Bernard Loiseau, to reveal the mechanisms, machinery and secrets of the kitchen there. The artist examines the work of chef Patrick Bertron and his staff and causes us to reflect on how peculiar, precise, difficult, and full of rules the world of gastronomy is, yet at the same time so very fascinating. In the kitchen we witness the sublimation of everyday products through the strain of the work, intense rhythms, forceful sounds, the heat of the stoves, until achieving a perfect harmony of tastes.
Absence (2011) is a recent project of Kazma’s, a two-channel video that takes us through the inside of an abandoned NATO base in Holland. Through images of an almost photographic quality, in which one does not see any movement or signs of human presence, Ali Kazma creates a dark meditative atmosphere of what remains of a place that once played an important role in military decisions. The building has a simple, clean architecture that is rational, functional and totally in contrast with its objectives of war that brought devastation, disorder and imbalance. The video is delicate in its form, but presents images that are quite powerful and thanks to its expert editing plays with alternations of strong sensations of unease with a sense of serenity. It is interesting to note how the natural elements are relentlessly trying to cover the site, almost as if they were reclaiming its spaces and thus burying the horrors of the past by giving a new sense of harmony to these places.
The being and soul of these three videos by Ali Kazma are the result of a tension between man and nature. In these works a battle is enacted that is the fruit of the reciprocal belonging to the two dimensions that the artist is able to reunite in the simplicity and intimacy of their relationship.