Akeroyd Collection


Diego Marcon, Monelle, 2017

Monelle is a study of the architecture and psychology of the Casa del Fascio in Como, Italy and the capacity a building has to carry the imprint of past violence. Designed by renowned Italian Modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni, the Casa del Fascio was designed and built as the headquarters for the regional Fascist Party under Mussolini. In this film, shown on a loop, the screen remains black, accompanied by an ominous audio droning and foley sounds that could be identified as objects being dragged across floors. Infrequently, violent bursts of light illuminate the spaces for a single frame, and we see blindingly exposed images of the building’s interiors. The flashes of light arrive with a bang – like that of a gunshot or flash bulb, and in that split-second, we catch glimpses of young girls ominously grouped together or alone inside the monolithic spaces of this building. Each time the light arrives it first shocks, then leaves a retinal imprint as the screen returns to black. Are the girls sleeping or are they dead? Each time we are jolted from our suspense and a new horror is revealed. Our suspicions are confirmed, and we see a woman being dragged lifeless, by an unseen assailant, across a marble floor. The film is rendered in 35mm and constructed using CGI. There is a dichotomy in place that brings to the fore the tensions inherent to cinema. This is part structural filmmaking; systematic, rhythmic, formal, and process-oriented and yet it is also lush with the affective registers and tropes of horror. In holding these genres in tension, Marcon is able to heighten the emotional impact. The fascistic impulse for modernity and futurism, where the messiness of life is eschewed in favour of clean structures, is here, exposed as a kind of violence in the very way these depictions of human terror are released.

MediumDigital video transferred from 35mm film, CGI animation, colour, sound
Duration13 minutes 53 seconds, looped
Editionof 5 + 2 APs