Shape-shifters (this young monster)
Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini
Shape-shifters (this young monster) focuses on the trope of vampires and its use in contemporary culture to investigate societal fears of otherness as well as colonial legacies and imperial complicity. How does the figure of the vampire irradiate our thinking about queerness, disability, and race? The screening questions how this trope is used artistically to deconstruct these dreads through estrangement by showing Pedro Neves Marques’ In Space It’s Always Night, (2022) along with Adam Khalil’s and Bayley Sweitzer’s Nosferasta: First Bite (2021).
Pedro Neves Marques’ In Space It’s Always Night, part of the artist’s project in the context of the Official Portuguese Representation at the 59th Venice Biennale uses the visual format of the livestream to focus on the daily dramas of a family of vampires traveling through outer space, carrying life to a faraway twin Earth. The film resorts to the figure and expectations of what we consider a “vampire” and combines it with a science-fiction background in order to address issues of gender identity, non-nuclear families, queer reproduction, as well as the role of intimacy and mental health today. Adam Khalil’s and Bayley Sweitzer’s Nosferasta—conceived as a vampire film and series of installations—follows the story of Oba to examine the guilt of being complicit in imperial conquest, while also acknowledging the difficulty of unlearning centuries of vampiric conditioning. At its core, Nosferasta asks: how can you decolonize what’s in your blood? Using different cinematic vocabularies, whilst quoting science-fiction and futurism genres, both films present tales of intimacy and alienation, conditioning and colonization.
Pedro Neves Marques, In Space It’s Always Night, 2022, 38 Min.
Adam Khalil und Bayley Sweitzer with Oba, Nosferasta: First Bite, 2021, 32 Min.
Introduced by Attilia Fattori Franchini
Followed by a conversation between the curator and Adam Khalil (in person), Bayley Sweitzer, Oba, and Pedro Neves Marques (videocall)
Attilia Fattori Franchini is an independent curator and writer based in Vienna. Working on the creation of experimental contexts for the production and display of contemporary practices, her work deals with technology and power structures, moving image and the cinematic, late-capitalism, and the creation of alternative forms of subjectivity and representation. She is the artistic co-director of KUNSTVEREIN GARTENHAUS in Vienna and the curator of BMW Open Work by Frieze for which she has realized solo presentations by Nikita Gale (2022), Madeline Hollander (2021), Camille Blatrix (2019), Sam Lewitt (2018), Olivia Erlanger (2017); Curva Blu, an artists’ residency on the island of Favignana, Sicily; and the Emergent section of miart Milan.