I Have a Dream

In the Masbedo’s artistic career, I Have A Dream – a video-audio installation made of eleven monitors placed at eye-level on specific supports – represents, if not a clear turning point, a cutting edge and in any case a major moment of experimentation. If, rightly or wrongly, the work of the two artists has often been associated with cinema and experimental theatre, in this artwork the Masbedo create instead a uniquely video-artistic project. Whereas most of their previous works is strongly distinguished by the collaboration with actors, performers, costume designers, writers and musician – developing in fact complex worlds, full of visual, perceptive and intellectual stimulations – I Have A Dream seems to completely nullify such aesthetic statement. As a matter of fact, the decision to employ common people who do not act, drop the stage design and renounce any musical, and therefore also emotional, accompaniment, highlights a sort of nihilistic willingness from the two artists towards their own work. The power, the tremendous energy of this installation, doesn’t lie as much in the cancellation in itself but rather in the sublimation of a destructive act through a tautological process which sees the non-voice of deaf people becoming the voice of truth. Eleven profoundly deaf people read eleven historic speeches by as many famous people, internationally renowned for their dedication to accomplish the dream of a better world: eleven men and women who have been murdered or persecuted for their sublime commitment. The world has been and still is indifferent to such proclaims or prayers and the world in I Have A Dream is embodied by any onlooker who in front of the eleven monitors tries to understand, and finally hears within himself, what he has never wanted to consciously hear with his own hearing. Thanks to such a simple and yet profound operation, the artists want to tell us that the real deaf are all of us and not the people who are deaf only from a strictly physical perspective. It is not the mise-en-scène of an handicap, but a non-mise-en-scène promoting a painful and discouraging realization: none has listened to those who even paid with their own lives their commitment towards a better world.

[Luca Bradamante]

11 speeches:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, I Have A Dream, 20th January 1961

Anwar Al-Sadat, Israeli Parliament, 20th November 1977

Martin Luther King, Lincoln Memorial Washington DC, 28th August 1963

Salvador Allende, Palacio de La Moneda Santiago de Cile, 11th September 1973

Ytzhak Rabin, White House Washington DC, 13th September 1993

John Lennon, Imagine, 9th September 1971

Mohandas K. Gandhi, Sabarmati Ashram Ahmedabad, 11th March 1930

Liu Xiaobo, Nobel for Peace, 10th December 2010

Malcolm X, 28th June 1964

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Harvard University, 8th June 1978

Aung San Suu Kyi, 14th November 2010

Exhibition History