Body-Me: Yuri Ancarani

DA VINCI, 2012
35mm Film, colour 5.1, Dolby Digital
25 min
Courtesy the artist, Galleria Zero, Milan and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin

The lead in Yuri Ancarani’s film “Da Vinci” is a sophisticated technological surgical system named after the Italian polymath. When performing an operation with the “da Vinci Si Surgical System,” the surgeon does not have direct contact with the patient’s body. He instead guides the highly precise instruments from a console. A high-definition video feed from area of the operation, which is performed using micro-invasive technology, gives the surgeon a magnified view of the procedure. Ancarani uses these shots for his film whose documentary approach explores the existential relationship between man and machine. The video artist captures the visible and delicate anatomical structures in shades of blue, thereby creating a level of distance between viewer and film. A thudding, threatening bass underscores the palpable tension among the team of doctors present in the operating room and carries it over to the viewer’s own body. In contrast to pessimistic visions of a future in which robots replace mankind, Ancarani’s work visualizes surgeon and operating instrument as a synergetic entity and thus departs from a mere contrast of man and machine. Ancarani’s trilogy, of which “Da Vinci” is the third part, reflects on the subject of labor through its portrayal of three highly specialized occupations. In addition to surgeons, “Il Cappo” (2010) films the crew of a marble quarry and “Luna” (2011) records the daily routine on a deep-sea platform. At the focal point of all three films are the choreographed gestures that comprise the process of working.