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Online videos were digitized with the support of the Regional Council of
Nord / Pas-de-Calais and digitization plans 2009 and 2010 of the french Ministry of Culture.


of FATMI Mounir

FRANCE, 2011, 00:05:04

Genre : Video art
Keyword : Religion, Allegory

Summary :
St. Peter Martyr (also known as St. Peter of Verona) was a 13th century Italian priest and Dominican friar both celebrated and reviled for his role as preacher, evangelist and Inquisitor. As a fierce opponent of heresy and idolatry he collected as many friends as he did enemies, eventually falling to an assassin’s strike before his canonization as a Catholic saint. According to the story of his martyrdom, after being struck by an axe to the head and knife to the back, Peter Martyr rose to his knees and recited the first article of the Apostle’s Creed. In his final moments, the steadfast devotee proceeded to dip his finger in his own blood and write “Credo in Unum Diem” (“I believe in one God”) upon the earth before succumbing to death. His unwavering fortitude was immortalized by the esteemed painter (and fellow Dominican monk) Fra Angelico (born Giovanni da Fiesale) in a 1438 fresco titled “St. Peter Martyr Enjoining Silence.” Here, with finger pressed tightly against his lips (as both a compositional and instructional device) this painting of Peter Martyr is located in a lunette above the cloister in Florence’s San Marco Church – directing the monks entering the sacristy to move quietly in their passage. Centuries later, Fatmi dislodges said finger in a digital animation/appropriation of Fra Angelico’s original painting – turning the silent, unmoving icon into a hallucinatory vision of unstable meaning. Rather than pointing to a singular purpose, Peter Martyr’s arm becomes a compass arrow gesturing in multiple directions as his eyes (and aura) move in and out of sight. Set to an aggressive mechanical soundtrack in a quasi-sacred site in the Gdansk Shipyard (was this once a church?), The Silence of St. Peter Martyr speaks volumes to the violence of that which is obscured in the absence of words. In the attempted silencing of Lech Walesa (by the KGB) he was made near-divine through Solidarity; in the post-industrial silencing of the Shipyard, will this site be reborn, or will it fall to the “cutting edge” knife of progress?

Steven Matijcio

puce to print

Original language : _wordless
Original format : video
Aspect ratio : 16/9
Chroma : Noir&Blanc
Available version(s) : Sans paroles.

rental : 100 euros

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