Ronni Ahmmed clinches an award at 9th Florence Biennale
Bangladeshi painter and multidisciplinary artist Ronni Ahmmed clinched an award in the video category for his recent work Seven Hundred Miles of Sleepwalking at the 9th Florence Biennale. His 10 minute long video is a relay of deconstructive snippets, capturing a cluster of seemingly disparate imagery seen through the lens of a voyeur bent on a saucy critique/dissection of modern society and its human inhabitants caught in a web of shifting structures of culture, knowledge and science. The 9th Florence Biennale, running through November 30 to December 8 was cast around the curatorial theme of Ethics: DNA of Art. The event showcased the works of 450 artists from all over the world in nine categories – painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, mixed media, digital art, photography and video – and had eight special mentions, five Matrix Awards, and over 30 collateral events.
The Florence Biennale is one of the few international art events framed as a self-financed, independent platform for contemporary art. The event attracts artists from all over the world who exhibit their work at the Fortezza da Basso. The event enjoys the patronage of the president of the republic and ministry of cultural heritage of Italy as well as the regional, provincial and municipal authorities of the City of Florence.
Seven Hundred Miles of Sleepwalking, Ronni's second metaconstruction evidencing a critique of society based on consensus, is an animation that grows out of a selection of imagery from his own paintings of the last ten years.
The final cut – a staccato ride through a digitally manipulated landscape interspersed with teasing filler shots of the artist's head covered in children's garments, is a heady mix of spectacularly startling elements, guiding the audience to a sustained double take. The piece brings to light a series of epigrams with disarmingly comical effect on our cognitive understanding of life, especially so as it comes from an artist (or might one say a con artist with pun intended) who is a storyteller par excellence. Apart from the multi-layered construct that lays bare his intention to negate the status quo, the video attempts to unify absurdity and wisdom.
Through the subterranean sourcing of the 'mocking memes' Ronni voices the unvoicable, insistently guiding the viewer through pairs such as brutality/power, hypocrisy/self-delusion.
Ronni Ahmmed's video project has been supported by Mermaid Art Foundation, an organization that sponsored the book on the artist that saw its launch in last year's Venice Biennale.