The video installation entitled “The Secret of Love” is characterized by highly recognizable aesthetics such as 1940s-1950s American gangster movies. In contrast to this distinctive, exclusively North American feature is the Mediterranean sound of Raiz which embraces the cultures of the rest of the world. In this game of roles, two differing realities coexist on the same temporal line creating a multiracial and multi-cultural hybridization gently balanced in soft, passionate equilibrium.
Furthermore, unlike in cinema and video-clips, in this case, the music does not overpower the image and the image does not overpower the music. This parity was part of the artist’s exploration.
Author: Roxy in the box
Original Title: the Secret of Love
Production year: 2011
Production country: Italy
Duration (min): 3′ 45”
Original language: Neapolitan dialect (Italy)
Costume designer: Alessandra Gaudioso
Police inspector: Raiz
Policeman: Antonio Maiorino
Her: Roxy in the box
title: ‘A Rosa e int’ ‘o ciardino mio
Authors: G. Della Volpe (RAIZ) – A. Medina
Ed. Bustin’ Loose ltd-Imagem Music
From Raiz’s Album “YA”
Universal Music Italia 2011
Roxy in the box and her marvellous immobility. All of the artist’s pop-rock soul, made of sequins and dust, has gone into her most recent creation, “The secret of love”, on show at the Contemporary Art Museum in Casoria until 9 January 2012, as part of “Campania Senses” the regional section of the Fifty-fourth Venice Biennale, the curator of which is Vittorio Sgarbi. The video-installation recaptures the pop aesthetics of an book series entitled “Women in Love”, a cult collection set in 1950s America, and is enhanced by a Mediterranean sound which bridges the gap between different periods of time and different cultures. The leading players are Roxy herself in the role of the female criminal, the singer-songwriter Raiz as the inspector, and Antonio Maiorino, as the policeman. The action is still – suspended at that infinite moment when the man catches up with the woman in order to bring her to justice. But his actions are compassionate and loving. In the absolute immobility of the characters, the only moving figure is Raiz who begins to sing “‘A rosa ‘e int’ ‘o ciardino mio”, a revised version of a traditional Israeli tune from the album “Ya”. His declaration of love falls on deaf ears, lost in the chill, the silence and the absolute passivity of the woman. “Nothing happens in the video—explained Roxy – it is a vertical projection in which there is no true action. Raiz’s Mediterranean sound penetrates the pop iconography in a contamination of genres and images which does not create movement». A tribute to immobility. Practiced and endured. Invoked and deprecated. The immobility of the man, of creation, of the city. «in the video I describe a situation I am familiar with” the artist continued, my immobility is a sort of passive action. We are all on the front cover, all in full view, but no-one really reads us. We are surrounded with beauty, but nothing happens. I know I can do anything, the others know that I exist, but everything remains suspended in a sense of anticipation. The inspector’s declaration of love to the murderess is the same one I make to myself everyday». An aesthetic reading of the work is rapid, immediate. It is between the lines, however, that some unexpected glimpses are hidden. «Working with Raiz and his interpretation was fundamental» explained Roxy. «His criminal companion, the object/subject that sings to him, is Naples. It is the city that remains still and passive, dispite declarations of love». An immobile space that facilitates artistic production but offers no exhibition areas or a local network capable of giving rise to a “system”. «Naples is an open air installation, but it is at a standstill. For fifteen years this city was a reference point for contemporary art. It is possible to take a break when there are emergencies to be tackled, but it is necessary to ensure continuity so as not to lose a heritage that has been acquired and which must become a source of wealth for the area. Wherever there is a future for contemporary art in this city, it is also and, above all, must be linked to the local area. Art can and must be an asset in the city’s economy. I am thinking of tourism, of things to be enjoyed by foreigners. At the moment, however, there is no interaction with the outside world, with other countries». She was straightforward regarding the controversy surrounding the so-called “Biennalina”: «I agree with the proposal made by the CAM Museum. We need to send a strong signal that the local area exists, that there is energy in the air and that the fire is still smouldering under the ashes. From this perspective, the regional Biennale exhibition is a marvellous project. Sgarbi says that this city is dead. Well, it is not. Not at all. But it is at a standstill. There are plenty of people who fight battles every day for art and culture, but it is difficult for them to cut out a space for themselves. My visions materialise thanks to collective work that has involved many young people and local professional skills: the producers Roberto Russo, Vincenzo Pascolo and Paolo Barone of NFI; the photographer Biagio Chianese; the costume designer Alessandra Gaudioso; the make-up artist Roberto Pastore». This is the marvellous immobility of a pop-rock soul.
by Biagio Chianese