Gloria Chiappani Rodichevski’s Uomossessione: escaping from the Gaze and further beyond

A multimedia work that unites music, images, dance and poetry


Review. 1

Interview. 2

Photo gallery and video. 2


Yuki Imaizumi in Uomossessione.

© Photo by GloriaChiappani Rodichevski


When Nietzsche announced the death of God, Man believed he was free, from the burden of morals, and the weight crushing him and binding him to the metaphysical gaze. In reality, however, things turned out to be completely different; God may have died – but that Gaze survived and multiplied itself, in a hypertrophic manner.

The history of man from the 18th Century onwards, is the story – to cite Gloria Chiappani Rodichevski’s multimedia work – of the Observed who battles to open a passage through which he could elude the constant surveillance of the Gaze. Existence is considered as a metaphorical and non-metaphorical prison: we cannot but recall Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, pearl of English utilitarianism right at the height of the Age of Enlightenment. It was an “ideal” scheme of a perfectly circular prison in which the hypothetical guardian – positioned in the center – could monitor the life of the prisoners in a capillary and constant manner. To re-read the Panopticon as a twentieth-century metaphor (as Michel Foucault did) would mean finding yourself face to face with the Leviathan of modern times: the nightmare of a panoptic society and an invisible power, no longer transcendent like the monarchies of the Ancient Regime, but immanent in the society it controls.

The reference to the science fiction of the twentieth century, from 1984 by George Orwell to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, is immediate. And yet when we watch the first part of Uomossessione, the ballerina’s groping movements under the petrifying empire of the Gaze seem distant from possible political interpretations. Why? And for what contemporaneous motive does the projected eye continue to frighten us, and define itself as a symbol that may not be immediately deciphered but emotively recognizable? We have to look for the answer in a generational reject: in the end of the Cold War, the end of great utopian politics, the end of politics itself, intended as an element of group participation and involvement. The Gaze has survived once more, and in this case breaking up in a kaleidoscope of possible keys to the reading: it is the analytical gaze of science (of “scientism […] obsessing [man] to death”), it is the invisible hand of the media empire or it is something that goes beyond sociological aetiology, as in Michael Powell’s Eyes that Kill, a Hitchcock-type of psychological thriller, wherein the assassin with the camera’s eye, constantly films his victims at the moment of death.

There are numerous interpretation modes and each can choose his own: in the first part of the video, Yuki Imaizumi’s dance (The Observed) refers to all and in a sense excludes them all, since it is not set up as a manifest, but as a pure symbol, a multiform corolla of archetypal evocations. Uomossessione is a fable of purely introspective sounds and gestures. It is a poetic evocation that draws from the mysterious background of collective subconsciousness in which the level of comprehension pertains to the emotive sphere even before the rational one. This holds not only for the first part of the video but especially and above all for the conclusion, The Sublimated: on the screen liberation from the Gaze is configured as the liberation of the image in itself. The gestures of the ballerina ‑ frenetic and choppy at first – are smoothed out in a harmonious rhythm of pas de bourrée. The liberation – from the thousand faces, as in the imprisonment of the Gaze - goes beyond the symbol, beyond the image: a serene transparence, gently interwoven with sounds and lights that seem to evoke Nothingness, intended not as a negation, but as the space of liberty and beauty, and a beginning.


Read the interview with Gloria Chiappani Rodichevski on:

Photo gallery and video

See the complete photo gallery and some shots of the multimedia video on:

Translation by Yolanda Rillorta