“The unedited archive reveals the nuanced images that weren’t intended for social media—including all of the blurred, mistaken, or crooked moments,” Eva said, “the red eyes and the many iterations of the same photo, taken hoping to get the perfect shot.”
The end result is captivating and confounding in equal measure; the soundtrack adds an elegiac gloss to what might otherwise be totally mundane moments. It’s also a little frustrating: Who is this Riccardo, after all? An ordinary man who travels (a lot), enjoyed the movie Call Me By Your Name, owns an adorable dog, and occasionally frequents drag performances?
Uninitiated audiences might not even register Riccardo Uncut as an artwork at all, since it has so much in common with the sort of personal-memory slideshows regularly generated and served up by Google or Facebook.
Like much of Eva and Franco Mattes’s work, the video is a social experiment as much as an art object. It’s a delicate balancing act. “If you don’t break any rules, your art is probably not viable,” Franco said. “But if you break too many rules, you run the risk of stepping outside of the game altogether.”