Rexflection upon art, unconscious and imaginary women
Interview by Giorgia Sinicorni
They have been working and searching for fifteen years now in the spurious territory of the videoart, they are the
Masbedo, a duo born from the encounter of Iacopo Bedogni, former professional basket player, graduate in
mathematics and then photographer and Niccolò Massazza, psychoanalysis scholar, poetry and Lacan enthusiast,
and former musician. This mix of skills and language makes their work herald of a strongly contemporary.
In front of their works the transcendent reaches the observant speaking a language made of ordinary objects: cement,
chairs, tables, broken discs, glass, food. But even a monumental nature made of chasms, stormy seas, deserts of
lava and volcanic fumes. Herald of what some call the technological sublime, the expression of a conceptual survey
which doesn’t give up speaking through the bowels, the Masbedo exhibited in some of the most important museums
in Europe. On 3rd October they opened a personal exhibition at the Fondazione Merz in Turin which will continue until
January 11th, entitled Todestriebe (death instinct), a journey through new (or not) jobs, about lack of communication.
And for 2015 they will collaborate with the Arena of Verona for Mo zart’s Magic flute. None of this prevented them from
making foray into film territory, giving birth to The Lack, their first feature film presented at the Festival of Venice during
the Venice Days, special section for the authors. It is “four variations on the theme of absence”, entrusted to six female
interpreters and shocking nature (Lea Mornar, Xin Wang, Giorgia Sinicorni, Geneva Bulgarians, Emanuela Villagrossi,
Giorgia Sinicorni is an actress, she works for cinema and theatre, she lives and works in Italy and in Paris.
She worked with Gabriele Muccino, Pupi Avati, Marc Fitoussi, Philip Koch, Gabriele Lavia, Masbedo.
Enthusiastic observer, she has got a degree in semiotic, thesis on the influences of contemporary scene
and new media; she is a contributor for magazines, writing about cinema and theatre and what she is
In the film, from which the still of these pages are drawn, we seem spying in the imagination of the two
artists, in how they think or want to think about the woman. It is a poignant immersion in a universe
standing between idealizing, dream and imagination than fancy the feminine universe. Women in The
Lack are very far away from the women normally represented in our cinema, we refer more directly to
characters like the Dreyer’s Joan of arc, or the Penthesilea by Kleist (absolute leader of women/mantises
embodying the death instinct, Todestriebe, which so concerns the Masbedo). I worked with them for the
pre-production of the film, creating one of these contemporary heroines, and here are some of the
questions I was longing to ask them.
In your work and in your exhibition you speak about the lack of communication, the instinct of
death as tension in the man/woman relationship. For two men, thus, making a movie just about
women is madness? Is it a provocative or suicide act?
N. Someone once told me that she was suspicious of men who speak too much about women, and I
agreed, it is clear that our talk of women reveals an open topic, unresolved. the more I see the film the
more I realize that it speaks about our lack as men. Somehow we commissioned these characters to get
in touch with our feminine, with our most fragile, most pure part.
It is clear that we have a kind of female dependence, we described the Mad-onna, we tried once more
to disentangle ourselves into the incomplete territory of man and woman, but we found just a partial
answer. I Yes, I think the film was born from a need of unconscious self-analysis and reflection on what
for us has always been a critical topic, is the answer to our inability to understand relationships all the
way. It is trying to figure out what remains of the human male in the relationship between man and woman.
Basically I think all this talking about women, reveals a great absent, which is the man. A man who looks
for himself, who does not know how to come out in the open.
Those who populate The lack are women who look more like warriors than real people, what is
the relationship between the idealized woman you narrate, the Muse and the real woman?
I. The woman of reality is a daily woman with a lot of contradictions and tensions linked to the social life,
the idealized woman is what is represented in her essence and narrated through art, she is a carrier of
unconscious desire, of projections. The Union element of these two figures is the Muse, that is a woman
that exists, that is part of life, but at the same time is a source of inspiration and nourishment of the artistic
process. The Muse is the Union of these extremities, forces the artist to confront hiself with the idealized
woman, puts him in crisis, embodies what you cannot embody and then subverts the ideal transforming
N. Basically the difference is that with the real woman we have a daily confrontation, especially a carnal
one, the idealized woman is the woman of the desire, as Lacan said she exists only in the absence of the
object. The woman who lives in the artwork is wrapped in purity and is undoubtedly incomplete, she is a
Mad-onna, you can pray her, but you can’t have sex with ther. The Muse for me has always been
associated with the discovery of the other, at the beginning, the tension of desire and fear of loss. I still
don’t know if there is a meeting point between these three figures.
What is intimacy for you?
I. Intimacy is the Kaleidoscope that is created when two people have a relationship, that tube full of colors
and stirring where everyone throws pieces of him/herself, giving her to one another. It is a place that grows
up with time, nurtured through sincerity, is the unfolding and sharing. Is the engine of a relationship of any
kind, and is also the subject of great expectations, which are often disappointed.
N. For me is the lack of shame, both against the body and the thoughts. It’s a place where you don’t need
to represent yourself, where things flow and occur without being thought.
Since intimacy implies a lack of defenses against the other, The Lack women seem rather
impenetrable, is it possible to have an intimate relationship with an idealized woman, with a female
N. I like the definition of women warriors and indeed, women of The Lack are warriors because they come
and go apart from everything and everyone. Once again I realize that with these women you can have
emotional intimacy but not carnal, you can pray but no one can touch. Listening to those who saw the
movie, I realize more and more how the representation of our women is partial, somehow we described a
sanctified, the opposite of what is being shown constantly by contemporary media, in which the woman
is just the object of eroticized desire. I believe that the truth is in the Middle, and I can think of a masterpiece
like Venus in furs by Polanski.
I. The Lack women are warriors just in the meaning that their act bring them to undertake some travels,
somehow courageously, there is an intention that moves them that is “male” and warrior, but their essence
is a great sensitivity. The idealized woman fascinates me and, contrary to what you say, helps me to embark
on a path for approaching, because the fact of seeing her in her essence, without interference, makes her
accessible, it kinds of opens a bridge.