In the last ten years, contemporary art, cinema and visual studies have begun to deal more and more frequently and precisely with issues related to security and surveillance. As well demonstrated in various studies, despite its undoubted political relevance, this combination has slipped to the margins of public debate while, by contrast, numerous exhibitions have not only highlighted the growing attention of artists in this regard, but also confirmed the indissoluble link between the photographic medium and the need to "spy" on the other. Persuasive System is a site specific intervention by Salvatore Vitale (1986, Palermo) which is placed right in the framework of the above mentioned practical and theoretical discussion. In the gallery's project room, with an unpublished project, Vitale presents a reflection on the influence of surveillance devices in the transformation of social codes in the public space, continuing a research previewed - and still open until 12.12.2021 - at CAMERA Centro Italiano per la Fotografia and OGR Turin.
The installation includes a visual essay part of the new research, started in 2020 and currently underway, in which an experiment on human behavior is recalled. Combining still and moving images with elements of fiction, the work uses the simulacrum of the airport to describe our everyday life, thus revealing the paradoxes inherent in the logic of systemic surveillance and the ambiguous role of individuals in the so-called "theater of security" . On a symbolic level, in fact, the airport represents one of the most controlled places of public life and, although it is exclusively a transit area, the greatest impact of surveillance on human behavior occurs in it. In this sense, through images, Vitale makes explicit how the (perception of) the reticularity of surveillance is also normalizing in other contexts: from the private to the work, from the family to the collective. This regularization sheds light on the need to think about the human obsession with voyeurism, the volatility of privacy laws, the freedom of the media and so on. The installation is completed with elements of graphic and sound design, which play a fundamental role in the temporal scansion of the story, articulating it into four phases: boarding, in flight, co-piloting, landing. Voice, ambient sound and music have a central function - at the same time - in analytically informing, describing and supporting a thesis, developing empathy, developing doubts, admonishing the viewer, increasing their moods and concerns. And eventually bring him to interact with the (new) reality.