EX-VOTO (2018)

 

Film installation with three HD videos, 30 min with sound

Nestled in the remote town of Cascia, within the mountains of southern Umbrian, lies the Santuario di Santa Rita de Cascia – the resting place of Saint Rita (1381-1457), canonised as the Saint of Impossible Causes.

The film Ex-voto (2018) examines the legacy of Santa Rita through the daily activities of the nuns currently resident at the convent in Cascia. It also draws on the twentieth century French conceptual artist Yves Klein’s connection to the saint. Klein was deeply fascinated by Santa Rita and left several ex-voto’s at the convent. The resulting film explores expressions of faith in material and visual culture whilst offering a meditation on the nature of spirituality itself. Over the course of two years, hosted by the Mahler & LeWitt Studios residency program in nearby Spoleto, I became acquainted with the nuns and recording their lives on film.

The film incorporates other locations near Spoleto which have spiritual connotations, including Tomaso Buzzi’s folly complex in Montegabbione, ‘La Scarzuola’, and a submerged church used by Russian film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky in his film ‘Nostalghia’.

 

Credits:
Mahler & LeWitt Studios
Marina Mahler
Eva LeWitt
Guy Robertson
Tommaso Faraci
Sophie Clarke
Grace and Nigel from Union Pacific
Christopher McSherry

 
Support for production:
Mahler & LeWitt Studios
The Danish Arts Council
The Goldstone Family Foundation 
Yves Klein Archives

A huge thanks to all the sisters at Santuario di Santa Rita da Cascia for your
hospitality, trust and time. 
To Sister Maricar and Sister Maria Rosa for the very inspiring conversations. 
To the pilgrims of Saint Rita, Erika thanks for sharing your story.
Thanks to Fondazione Santa Rita da Cascia onlus for granting permissions and to
Monica Guarriello for your fantastic help and organisation during recordings.

 
Photo: Matthew Burdis