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19th TDF and DOCUMENTA 14 present: Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi Tribute

Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi Tribute


The 19th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Documenta 14, the world-renowned modern art exhibition, present a special tribute to the work of the acclaimed Italian avant-garde filmmakers Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi.


The tribute of the 19th TDF, part of the festival’s >>Film Forward section, includes
5 documentary films by the two visual artists who redefined the documentary genre. It gives thus the audience the opportunity to know their work shortly before it is presented in this year’s edition of Documenta 14 that begins on April 8th, in Athens, Greece.


Both born in 1942, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi live and work together since the mid ’70s. Gianikian was born in Merano, Italy, to Armenian parents and studied architecture in Venice. Ricci Lucchi, born in Lugo, Italy, studied painting with Oskar Kokoschka in Salzburg, Austria. Their work has been presented and awarded at numerous international film festivals (Cannes, Locarno, Venice inter alia), as well as in many important art venues around the world, including MoMA-New York, Tate Modern-London, Hangar Bicocca-Milan, Centre Pompidou-Paris, etc.


The two artists are worldwide renowned as pioneers of the assemblage of rare found-footage film from the 20th and 21st century. Their work reflects on modern history through the eyes of its defeated heroes. The great wars, colonial violence, migration and fascism are recurring themes in their films and their politically loaded, subversive images are truly haunting. Using the “analytical camera”, a device which they invented themselves, Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi process the archival material through re-photographing, hand-tinting, and adjusting film speed. They produce thus new narratives and meanings that criticize and evoke our own times through the images of the past, showcasing a truly original and incomparable high quality body of work.


The films:


  • “An allegory of pain and violence”, Nocturne (1997) juxtaposes images of former Yugoslavia with material from the First World War.
  • Inventario Balcanico (2000) focuses on the Balkans in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, reflecting the dreadful side of human reality.
  • Evoking the vandalism of exotic destinations by mass tourism nowadays, the documentary Images d’ Orient – Tourisme Vandale (2001) highlights the startling contrast between the European upper class travellers in colonial India and the exploitation suffered by the country’s indigenous population.  
  • What is the aftermath of war? Part of the "War Trilogy", Oh! Uomo (2004) zooms on faces and bodies that portray the horror and terror of armed conflicts.
  • The filmmakers’ latest work Pays Barbare (2013) centres on the bloody occupation of Mussolini in Ethiopia in the mid ’30s. The film’s epilogue mentions: "Fascism returns again. We sense a feeling of concern. We are plunged into a dark night. We don’t know where we are going. And you?"



About Documenta:

In 1955, ten years after the end of the World War II, the first edition of the Western European modern art exhibition Documenta took place in Kassel, Germany. It was the initiative of a group of art lovers led by the artist, art professor and curator Arnold Bode (1900-1977). During the exhibition’s thirteen editions so far, Documenta has become a place that hosts important discussions about modern culture and its current sociopolitical contexts, highlighting global issues and including in particular non-Western epistemologies and art practices.


Regarding the Documenta 14, its artistic director Adam Szymczyk has proposed a bilateral structure of the exhibition, under the working title “Learning from Athens”. In 2017, Kassel, the exclusive host of the event so far, assumes a new role as Athens’ guest, as both cities will jointly and equally host the exhibition from April 8th to September 17th.




The 19th TDF is financed by the European Union - European Regional Development Fund under the ROP of Central Macedonia 2014-2020.



Co-financed by Greece and the European Union


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About Thessaloniki

Mcmahon Vanessa

Vanessa McMahon Covered the 13th and 14th, and 16th edition.
Catherine Esway has covered the 12th edition of Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Cécile Rittweger covered the  11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Christine Marik's reported from 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Past coverage from the 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival by Bruno Chatelin.

Through its tributes, it focuses both on discovering filmmakers with a unique cinematic point of view, and on the internationally recognized for their contribution to documentary.

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