“Selfportrait” is a short video prompted by reflections on the last phase of Rembrandt’s career, in particular the late self-portraits in which the artist – almost in a state of poverty – painted his own image without a mirror, with dark, tormented matter. In a black field, a territory of negotiation between the reddish light that almost imperceptible outlines the face of the artist and the deeper darkness of the background, we are asked – as viewers – to remain as vigilant as possible. The static nature of the framing forces us to enter inside the silent image, to discover the slightest vibrations, in spite of the shortness of time: to reconstruct a profile, a brow, a cheekbone. It is an archaic work that speaks of the desire to see the things of the world even when they try to elude our gaze. Paradoxically, with its opacity the screen functions as a mirror and the tension of our gaze becomes a fundamental part of the function of the video.
Text by Bruno Muzzolini
* Legend has it that during the last years of his life Rembrandt, after losing everything, also found himself without a mirror. Without it, all his later self-portraits were made using his imagination. Maybe this is why he depicted himself as a king.