Filippo Berta, Sulla retta via (On the straight and narrow), 2014, Video HD
A line of people is moving along the seashore of a deserted beach, trying to follow the fleeting border, defined by the waves, that separates the sea from the land. This situation produces a uncoordinated collective action that makes visible an unending line that breaks continuously. The difficulty of maintaining a perfect and straight line represents the dualism of man’s impossibility to find a balance between his own intuitive, emotional and impetuous nature and his defined role by society which penetrates individual consciences and conditions mental behaviour, guiding the individual towards standardised models.
Text by Claudia Löffelholz, German independent curator and member of LaRete Art Projects
Filippo Berta, Allumettes #2, 2013, performance
People massed light up a match after another to make visible the square created by the union of their bodies. The noise produced reveals the frenzy of this collective effort. This stubborn act turns out to be bankruptcy when the first people, after finishing the matches available, leave the group and initiate a slow process of dissolution of the perfect square. The feeble glow produced by matches conceals the fragility of a perfection that can only be temporary and reaches its peak even when the last match is shutting down.
Filippo Berta, Cheees!, 2013, performance
A group of people, aligned along the wall, cover their faces by a black fabric and then, theu perform the same action: to draw a "smile" on the wall above their heads. Tha attempt to reproduce the exact form of the smile (circle, two dots and a semi-circle) becomes useless and produces a series of forms which emulate the original and show the obstinate intention visible in the wrong traces. In the desire of the individual to homologate to the right form imposed by the community, lies the imperfect human nature, so that stereotype and the personal are combined.
Filippo Berta, Instructions for use, 2012, performance
A group of soldiers trying to keep in balance their rifles on the palm of the hand and this is a difficult situation that will end when all the guns have fallen to the ground. The use of the weapon as a game lasts only the time in which these soldiers can keep their guns upside down compared to the normal military instructions.
Filippo Berta, Happens Everyday, 2012, performance
A group of people are sitting behind school desks arranged and each person grabs his desk, lifts it and overturns it over his head. From that moment, a challenge of strength in maintaining that position starts. Then, the first begin to succumb to fatigue, to the point that, everyone will have arranged the desks in their original position. The school desk, an object symbol of the dictates given to us from childhood, succumbs to the need to rebel from this micro-society and this act generates a silent condition of break between the rule of law was imposed, and the innate nature.
Filippo Berta, Allumettes #1, 2012, performance, Madre Museum of Naples
People massed light up a match after another to make visible the square created by the union of their bodies. The noise produced reveals the frenzy of this collective effort.
This stubborn act turns out to be bankruptcy when the first people, after finishing the matches available, leave the group and initiate a slow process of dissolution of the perfect square. The feeble glow produced by matches conceals the fragility of a perfection that can only be temporary and reaches its peak even when the last match is shutting down.
Filippo Berta, Islands, 2011, performance, video 1'10''
Some people rotate on themselves with their eyes closed and arms outstretched, holding in their hands red fluorescent bars and the wake of light defines the maximum area that each individual can occupy with his body and this space consists in his own island. The result is a confusing general movement, characterized by random clashes that becomes the metaphorical image of a heterogeneous society made up different identities closed in their border.
Filippo Berta, Concert Soloists, 2012, performance
Short Description:A group of men are drinking the broth seated at a table in a lunchroom. Each of them emphasizes every sip by sucking forcefully from the spoon, so emit a noise intrusive.
Each individual manifests his presence during the act of eating by means of this gurgle coming from his mouth, but finds himself inexorably absorbed by a collective chaotic noise. Each tries to distinguish from this collective uniformity (the same dish, the same table, same chair ...), but it is a futile attempt and the result is a parodic competition in which everyone tries to cover the others people and to come out from they.
Filippo Berta, M'ama / Non M'ama - Loves me? / Loves me not?, 2011
Four people arrange in line the books, pushing them by the index and associating to every single gesture the assertions “loves me” and “loves me not.” It follows a collective action in which everyone tries obsessively an order reassuring, but it betrays itself in a confused chorus in which the question “loves me or loves me not?” expresses a shared insecurity.
Filippo Berta, Vice Versa, 2011, performance
Short Description:Each of the person involved is placed between two blackboards, and at first they write with his right hand, on the blackboard on the right, their name and surname chanting all the syllables. Then, they repeat the same action but with the left hand, trying with difficulty to copy the accuracy of the traits of the letters written with his right hand, while the space is saturated with childish collective chant. The abortive attempt to emulate a established perfection and sets, is revealed in the imperfections of the unsafe features of the left hand (not educated), and this conflict inherent in every individual is represented by these two blackboards, which become the portrait of those who made them.
Filippo Berta, Homo Homini Lupus, 2011, Video HD
In Hobbes’ Leviathan of 1651, the English philosophy lays the ground for his theory of natural justice, deeming this as a continuous state of warfare (bellum omnium contra omnes), where “man is a wolf to man”. Moving on from the philosophical metaphor to the hypertextuality inherent to contemporary art, Filippo Berta picks up the Hobbesian theme: the artist shows the ferinitas of the human condition using directly a pack of wolves. Set in an almost lunar landscape, the wolves violently fight over an object, an Italian flag, not over a prey, and it is this which unsettles us. In the Hobbesian world, the only way out of this continuous state of warfare is through the creation of the state, capable of reducing the plurality of individual wills to a single will. This solution is put into question by Berta through one of its most emblematic of symbols, the flag, always present in this allegorical mise en scène that reclaims the state of nature over that of the rule of law [...]
Text by Eugenio Viola, curator at MADRE Museum, Naples ITA
Filippo Berta, Alessandro Pelicioli Massimo Barbieri Greta Agresti Anna Coppola
2010, performance, Digital Video 3'00''
Two men and two women are exposed naked behind four sheets of glass while they’re trying to hide their faces with difficulty by means of the halo of water vapor left from their breath on the surface of the slab. Their names and surnames are the title of this artwork and they become empty codes because they can’t be associated with the four faces deleted by a draining and violent action. The four bodies have been cleaned of any connotation given by family and by their society and untill the halo does evaporate, they are potential white sheets on which to realize the true portrait.
Filippo Berta, Territories, 2009, performance, Video 2'35'' Loop
Short Description:In an area covered in gravel a number of people are involved in a war without allies and in the general confusion each person tries to trace with his foot the line of his territory within which to express himself. This clash between individualities has created territories with different shapes and sizes forcibly intertwined together despite their incongruousness The definition of ourselves in social relations is a struggle between colonizers and colonized, a condition that in this performance is reduced to a collective heroism as if it were a chaotic anthill.
Filippo Berta, Déjà vu, 2008, performance, video 0'35'' Loop
Performance rewarded in the Fourth Edition
of the International Prize for Performance Civic Gallery of Contemporary Art
of the International Prize for Performance Civic Gallery of Contemporary Art
Six pairs of identical twins form two mirror deployments engaged in a fierce tug of war. A red line stands out from the centre of the strings defining the boundary between the factions of the dualism, but this line is breaking all the time due to the incessant struggle without alliances (either it is mine or yours) The general desire to dominate the others makes the border weak and unstable.
Filippo Berta, Ditty, 2008, performance, video 2'09''
Short Description:A row of immigrants are whistling the popular song of city of Bergamo and on the other side of the road the citizens, attracted to the melody and to the unsual situation, stop and listen to it. The immigrant and the native are faced one another and the distance that separates them in social life becomes concrete in that moment so that it defines a new space in a public place. In this performance the boundary between these two opposites is not a simple line of separation but an anomalous space accessible to passers-by.