Giusy Pirrotta

Vanishing Point

Video part of the installation Vanishing Point, central projection of the 3 channels video projection, 4'45’’, loop, no sound, 2012.

B&W Film, no sound, 10' 39’’ 2012,
Film extract, Film part of the Installation Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point comprises two moving image works: a video and a 16mm B&W film which were shown either as part of the same installation or independently.

Vanishing Point video analyses the use of parallel perspective in the representation of Chinese landscape and Shan Shui painting. In parallel perspective and in old Chinese landscape depiction, there is no the vanishing point that instead is used in linear perspective, but horizontal and parallel layers that overlap each others in a sort of endless fields extension which creates the illusion of depth.
My trip across the mountains along the north west of Beijing made me aware of how this representation codes were conceived in old Chinese landscape painting.
The videos show long static shots of mountain landscapes which fade in and out and overlap each others in order to emphasise the sense of an infinite depth of field.
This create an illusion where the image appear still, although mountains' crests move slowly and continuously creating an effect that resembles the movement of sea waves.

Vanishing Point film is a 16mm black and white film processed and printed through DIY method.
It was shot by using a Rostrum camera. The selection of images and text comprises excerpts taken from different sources, in which the Mountain is depicted in a symbolic way as a matrix connected with the origin of the world, and a holy place closest to the heaven where immortals reside.
The selection of images and texts is made to point out the contrast between the different meaning of the Mountain in Western and Eastern culture. The first see the mountain as a challenge and as a place to be conquered. This can be seen through the early attempts to climb Mount Everest and the more recent commercialisation by mass expeditions where people pay a lot of money to be guided to reach the summit.

The film put emphasise on the fact the is physically impossible to survive above 26,000 ft, and the Death Zone on Everest is the place where corpse of dead climbers will reside forever.
The physical effects of the thin air and high altitude on human being had lead many climbers to death also in circumstances where external oxygen supply were provided.
The film aims to construct a new story between myth, popular legend and true mountaineering experience, through the editing of texts excerpts and mountain images.

Fata Morgana (Mirage) 1971 Werner Herzog,
Ten Minutes older, the Cello 2002 Michelangelo Bertolucci

The Everest: Summit of Achievement, Stephen Venables
First Scent, Stephen Venables
Book of Modern Mountaineering, Malcolm Milne
Top Climbs of the World, Garth Hatting
Mount Blanc and the Aiguilles, C.Douglas Milner