LI-MA Presents: New Works

Calendar item

Thursday 14 December, 2023
Start: 19.30 
LAB111, Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam (LAB1)
Entrance: € 7,50 / Students € 5,- / Free with Cineville and We Are Public
Language: English / Dutch with English subtitles
Facebook event // Click here for tickets

Throughout the year, LI-MA presents several programmes of media and video art from its own collection and with guest curators – all at Lab111, where the LI-MA office is located. In this edition of ‘New Works’, LI-MA is proud to present a series of new video works by Giovanni Giaretta, NELLY DANSEN and Ghita Skali. Following each screening, the artists will also be present for Q&As, opening up the floor to questions from the audience.

In her video work NATUURLIJK, Ghita Skali (Prix de Rome 2023 finalist) uses humour, caricature and stereotyping to critique differing definitions of hygiene, dating back to colonial pasts, but with ongoing relevance in power relations today – an enquiry she takes to ChatGPT in Does Elon Musk have a watering can?. With its own hyper-stylised camp humour, Head Over Heels by NELLY DANSEN stages a “bimbo” invasion of the Playboy Mansion, deconstructing gendered archetypes in Hollywood and beyond. Exploring a very different angle of Hollywood, Ruin of a Fiction by Giovanni Giaretta uses props & puppets that recall pre-CGI practical effects – fleshing out our cinematic memories: the sunken remains of all the films we’ve seen.

Please note that the event starts at 19:30 sharp, so latecomers cannot be admitted. We Are Public members cannot reserve tickets in advance, but may enter for free by scanning their passes at reception.


Ghita Skali, NATUURLIJK (NL, 2023, 20min) and Does Elon Musk have a watering can? (EN, 2023, 7min)

In NATUURLIJK, proud Dutchman Joep struggles to find a watering can for his beloved tulips because people of colour keep buying the last one in the store. As it turns out, they use watering cans to water something other than plants. With this playful setup, Ghita Skali (Prix de Rome 2023 finalist) uses humour, caricature and stereotyping to explore differing definitions of hygiene, dating back to colonial pasts with ongoing relevance in power relations today.

In Does Elon Musk Have a watering can?, Skhali turns to AI for more answers on the same enquiry. Her increasingly exasperated conversation with ChatGPT reveals a similar blindness to global differences in customs, a cultural bias baked into the generative tools inaugurating our new technological age.

Ghita Skali (born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1992) lives and works in Amsterdam. Her multidisciplinary practice, which led to her nomination for the Prix de Rome 2023, encompasses installations, videos and interventions. Ghita uses odd news, rumours and propaganda to disrupt institutional power structures, such as the Western contemporary art world, state oppression and government politics. Her work blends humour and critique, and reaches beyond the art world.

Read an interview with Ghita Skali on our media art blog.

NELLY DANSEN, Head Over Heels (NL, 2023, 47min)

Nelke Cor Mast, as alter-ego NELLY DANSEN, joins “a big group of bimbos” in the Playboy Mansion in this ultra-camp deconstruction of Hollywood and The Madonna vs The Whore complex. Mixing staged and documentary footage, Dansen confuses the real and exaggerated: from the L.A. streets, singing inside a CG vacuum cleaner, driving around Grand Theft Auto. Altogether, Head Over Heels digs into the beauties and the horrors of the life of a bimbo, creating this vivid snapshot of the 21st century new age queer bimbo zeitgeist. 

NELLY DANSEN, the alias of Nelke Mast (she/they), is a conceptual artist and self-titled Bimbo born somewhere in a Frisian Forest and raised in a House of Punks. Nelke’s practice is primarily characterised by researching erotic capital and self-conceptualisation. She does this by making visual commentary on gender roles by deconstructing and re-establishing pre-dominant gendered sexual archetypes. 


Giovanni Giaretta - Ruin of a Fiction (NL, 2023, 11min)

Ruin of a Fiction explores the phantom images of our cinematic memories: the sunken remains of all the films we’ve seen. This ‘cinema cavern’ – inspired by 1971 text A Cinematic Atopia by Robert Smithson – is rendered using grainy props and puppets in the style of pre-CGI practical effects. The result is a space for the imagination where different narratives and metaphors merge together, creating new mythologies between cinema, geology and pop culture.

Giovanni Giaretta (born in Padua, Italy in 1983) is an artist and filmmaker living and working in Amsterdam. He was educated in Visual Arts Production Design in Venice and holds a BA in Didactics of Arts. His films and video works have been shown at festivals such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, IDFA and the New Horizons International Film Festival in Poland, and he has exhibited throughout Europe.