Iva Kontic

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For An Urban Story, the artist asked a friend who lives in a small city in Northern Italy to make her a guide tour in his car around the place. Invited to show the sights related to his personal experience and memory of the place, rather than those representative city-sights of historical and cultural importance, he introduce the urban landscape through mixture of general information, anecdotes and comments. The narrator always remains out of frame, leaving exclusively the panoramic view from the car window to unfold in front of the camera.

Shot in a straightforward documentary style, the video explores the relationship between personal and collective space and their ways of interaction in the everyday. How their bonding is put in act by the fragments of architectural forms and individual interpretations of the socio-historical context shaping our living space.

Developed as a commissioned project for a show at Taiwan Art Space TamTam8 (Berlin), An Urban Story exists as well in the form of video trilogy. To the first video, other two video pieces are added. They are filmed in different locations - a town in England and a city in Western Germany - and feature different protagonists - an older men and a young woman - with different relations to the depicted places - a naturalised immigrant and a recent homecommer. The two videos follow the same concept and structure of the first video.

The storytelling of the narrators and the ‘scrolling’ of urban landscapes weave the apparent anonymity of each. The work aims to portrait not as much a specific location or person, but rather a more general problematic of historical legacies, urbanisation, transformation, and the questions of home, displacement and alienation in our society, in this case the Western European context; the one yet away from those globally well-known metropolises often depicted as emblematic to identify our contemporary condition.

An Urban Story

single-channel video
DVPAL 16:9, colour-sound
16:00 min

video stills from An Urban Story


watch video An Urban Story

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view video stills from An Urban Story II
view video stills from An Urban Story III

Urban Install

An Urban Story


video installation
3 simultaneous videos screened on 3 TV monitors:
An Urban Story, An Urban Story II and An Urban Story III
(DVPAL 16:9, color-sound, 16:00, 16:22 and 16:42 min)

view of the video installation
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, TAMTAM8 Kunsthaus, Berlin