Riccardo Giacconi

Suite Europa 11
in collaboration with Andrea Morbio and Daniele Zoico

A suite of archive-based video studies around three athletes:
Frankie Fredericks, Patrick de Gayardon and Nadia Comăneci.

La scena emisferica, 2009
État de perfection, 2010
În forma lucrurilor care trebuie să vină, 2011

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La scena emisferica
[The Hemispherical Stage]
video, 16’, 2009
in collaboration with Daniele Zoico

In 1992, athlete Frankie Fredericks became Namibia’s first Olympic medalist when he finished second in both the 100m and 200m. For the 1996 Summer Olympics, Fredericks was among the title favourites for both the 100 m and 200 m. He reached both finals, and again finished second in both. In the 100m, he was beaten by Donovan Bailey, who set a new World Record, and in the 200m he was beaten by Michael Johnson, who also set a new World Record. At the time, Fredericks’s second place run was the third fastest 200m in history, beaten only by Johnson.

Suffering from injuries, Fredericks had to withdraw from the 1999 and 2001 World Championships and the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the 200m final at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, he finished 4th. He was 36. Although Fredericks is considered one of the top athletes of the end of the 20th century, he never managed to be Olympic champion.

Using the language of TV documentaries, La scena emisferica narrates the real story of Frankie Fredericks, intertwined with amateur images of a trip to Namibia made by an Italian tourist. His account runs parallel to the story of Fredericks, establishing a balance between two unsatisfied endeavours.

Voice: Andrea Morbio
Archive footage: Guido D. Giacconi, YouTube
Quotes from: Erwin Piscator, Wilbur Smith, Franz Kafka, Herman Melville, Immanuel Kant, Paolo Conte.

Full video

Screened at: MACRO - Museo d’arte contemporanea di Roma, Italy; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy (2013); Loop Festival, Barcelona; Kaunas in Art Festival, Kaunas, Lithuania; Lago Film Festival, Revine Lago, Italy (2011), Casa del Cinema, Venezia (2009).

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În forma lucrurilor care trebuie să vină
[In the Shape of Things to Come]
video, 35’, 2011
in collaboration with Andrea Morbio and Daniele Zoico

When Nadia Comăneci was 14 years old, she became the first athlete to ever obtain a perfect score –a 10– in an Olympic competition (Montreal, 1976), thus embodying, for the first time, the idea of perfection.
In this film, the Romanian gymnast is the catalyst for an analysis of four different instances in the creation of a perfect image.

Voice and live translation: Alexandra Rădulescu,
Melika Shafahi
Archive footage: Familia Diez Garcia, Rai.
Quotes from: Archilochus, Emil Cioran, Mircea Eliade, Franz Kafka, H.P. Lovecraft, Titus Lucretius Carus, Sappho, Verdena
Music: Gustav Mahler, "Kindertotenlieder"

Full video

Screened at: MACRO - Museo d’arte contemporanea di Roma, Italy (2013); Torino Film Festival, Italy (2011).