Federico Solmi’s current series of animated video works, entitled The Brotherhood, parody the iconography of historical portraiture through a series of absurd and grotesque portraits of some of the world’s most feared and beloved leaders. A secret society whose goal is to keep chaos alive in the world, The Brotherhood advances Solmi’s biting critique of a present-day dystopian society that inexorably continues to regenerate itself even as it falls apart in front of our eyes. In hand-drawn, color-saturated videos, Solmi torches the veneer of mystique and aura surrounding these legendary figures, exposing history as a propaganda-fabricated ruse, manipulated and carefully crafted to suit their selfish interests.
“THE BALLROOM” is an installation of five unique videos arranged in the form of a classical theater, replete with crimson curtains, depicting a gathering of The Brotherhood at a grand palace. In five different scenes, surreal vignettes of a lavish ballroom party converge multiple narratives of gluttony, gossip, and over the top exuberance, resulting in a chaotic folly of drinking, smoking, dancing, and feasting. A vain display of ridiculous costumes, shining with medals and jewelry, promote a visual disorder that coalesces with the indulgent antics of these powerful figures. Rather than reimagining history, the leaders enter into our conceited present-day celebrity culture. They call to fault our own complacency and perpetuation of skewed historical myths and perspectives.
Solmi’s process of creating video animation involves the construction and development of a virtual world within a video game engine. The textures of the environment and characters are scans of original paintings and drawings that are applied to 3D digital models.