The 12th edition of Video Sound Art Festival brings contemporary art to the spaces of Milan’s Teatro Carcano from September 22 to 28. Installations, videos, performances, screening program, and the launch of the annual call for artists and performers to produce new works.

The contemporary art festival has been active in Milan since 2010, after the exhibition route created for Palazzo Grassi in Venice at Tadao Ando’s Teatrino, returns to the city to present its 12th edition. From the basement to the gallery, the historic Milanese theater, inaugurated in 1803, will give space to complex installations with particular attention to the language of moving images. The Festival is supported by Fondazione Cariplo, Mondriaan Fund and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, under the patronage of Milano è Viva.

Video Sound Art Festival, since 2011, has been promoting artistic creation by reflecting on the transformations of installation language. Over the course of the editions, more and more attention has been paid to the construction of exhibition paths in contexts inhabited by the community, far from the ordinary distribution circuits of contemporary art—public schools, basements, sports facilities, scientific venues, and theater halls. Each project is preceded by a study of the social and historical characteristics of the places considered with the dual intent of connecting the installations with the venue (its function, walls, ceilings, etc.) and testing the adaptation of art within society. The encounter between festival staff, artists, curators, and host institutions involves constant discussion. Curating is no longer just about taking care of art objects-video, installation, photography, painting and sculpture. It is about embracing different worldviews by sharing the concept of authorship.

The 12th edition of Video Sound Art Festival focuses on the life of things, the unexplored possibilities that each object holds in relation to history, identity and social relations. The entire archaic world is populated by objects endowed with life force, and the impulse to collect is configured over the centuries as an attempt to summarize within the wonder rooms the image of the universe, responding to the desire to solve enigmas. Never being neutral, objects can suddenly become foreign and lose their function. How do they speak? How do they function outside their context?

The exhibition unfolds inside the theater with installations, videos and sculptural elements with the aim of creating an encounter with viewers and rewriting the invisible connections that exist between objects and the matter that constitutes them.

The Festival is proud to announce the participation of leading international artists such as: Mika Rottenberg, Daniel De Paula, from the MacGuffin publishing project, Jo Bannon and Candoco Dance Company. The exhibition begins in the basement of the theater, a space normally inaccessible to the public, which houses the new installation by artist Daniel De Paula, created in collaboration with Galleria Francesca Minini in Milan. The complex installation is composed of the video work circulação and sculptural and sound elements. circulação presents a series of footage given to the artist by companies that conduct infrastructure inspections for multinational corporations active in natural resource extraction and telecommunications. Through strategies such as negotiating with public and private institutions and appropriating objects and materials that populate our daily lives, De Paula’s works reflect on power dynamics and how they shape places and relationships.

In the central hall gallery, the Festival presents the video Cosmic generator by Mika Rottenberg, represented by the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in New York. Starting with videos shot in different stores in Calexico (California), Mexicali (Mexico) and Yiwu (China), the artist aims to recreate the imaginary life of an object, from its production in the factory to the moment it is sold. A system of tunnels establishes a connection between various places and actors, suggesting a reflection on how certain objects are allowed to move freely in the world, while for others the distance of a few meters is long and complex.

Guests of the twelfth edition are several female artists such as Oli Bonzanigo, with a new site-specific installation in the theater’s courtyard; Caterina Morigi, with the Making Special series of sculptural elements; and Letizia Cariello (Letia), with a complex installation composed of the video work Con te and the fabric sculpture L’ombra mia mi ha fatto paura. Letizia Cariello’s research is aimed at reconstructing connections and relationships between matter and space. From trees to teapots, from cups to photographs, her sign traverses everyday objects to materialize time in a perceptible form.

To investigate the theme in publishing, the Festival involves the prestigious Dutch project MacGuffin, a design research platform that explores the life of ordinary things. Each issue is dedicated to a single object, used as a starting point to explore the historical, social and political aspects it represents. The strongly interdisciplinary approach is able to delve into and decline the main philosophical, social and political theories of our time in support of an open and egalitarian vision. On the occasion of the launch of the new issue, dedicated to the chain, the stage hosts an installation and a series of podcasts.

Enriching the exhibition are performance interventions and a video dance screening program featuring a selection of national and international titles aimed at awakening the expression of physical language in relation to the things around us.