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21 Sep 2012

ZKM Videocast: Stefano Cagol: 'Vampa'

© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe 2012 // Videocast

Sensor. Zeitraum für junge Positionen: Stefano Cagol: »Vampa«
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie


Sensor. Time for young approaches 25.07.–23.09.2012 Wed-Fri 10am-6pm.
Sat-Sun 11am-6pm.
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VIDEOCAST: Stefano Cagol presents his video installation 'Vampa' in the shows series 'Sensor. Time for young approaches.' The artist explains his work based on the image of the American flag. Any other national symbol in the western world is so present and with such different meanings. ...

In the video installation Vampa by Stefano Cagol (*1969, Trient), we similarly encounter an image on the border between the virtual and the real. The artist takes an image of the North American flag that he filmed in Chelsea, New York, as the basis of his work and uses later digital editing. Hardly any other national symbol in the Western World is as ubiquitous and linked to such different meanings. For the one, the flag continues to represent the American dream of freedom, democracy and the struggle against fundamentalist terror, while for the other it signifies the acts of belligerence and capitalist imperialism over recent decades. In his video, Cagol mirrors the virtually manipulated image of the waving flag, which thus assumes ever new iconic, occasionally anthropomorphic forms. Associations with vampires, masks, flowers, bats, emblems, and fighter jets are evoked. Here, as in the Rorschach test, imagination and mind-games take the place of the state symbology. Cagol thus demonstrates the way in which, in a different context, a symbol of freedom may otherwise stand for violence and war. He also pursues this ambiguity of signs in the play on the word Vampa, which means flame and is reminiscent of vampire, and vamp, which alludes to the transformation of signs and images. It is no mere coincidence that the title one of the first versions of the video is Lies.
Here, one may recall Jean Baudrillard's suggestion: "One must resist the probability of all images, of all information. Become more virtual than the event itself; do not attempt to restore the truth – we do not have the means of   this; but do not allow oneself to be deceived."*

Extract from the text by Idis Hartmann, Daria Mille, curators of SENSOR 05. Sensor. Zeitraum für jünge Positionen.

*Jean Baudrillard, 03/29/ 1991, in: Les cibles de Baudrillard dans «Liberation>>, online: (accessed 07/12/2012)