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Still image from Predictions of Uncertainty by Dimitra Louana Marlanti

Dimitra Louana Marlanti talks about mysteries

March 27 2021
The collaboration between Triennale Milano and the United Nations SDG Action Campaign took shape on the common ground of shared objectives. The reflections of the 23rd International Exhibition Unknown Unknowns: An Introduction to Mysteries take up the critical tradition of the Exhibitions, highlighting the challenges of a present that is uncertain and that, more than ever, needs to find new ways to mobilise and connect people and organisations and to inspire them to take action on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The video essays by Dimitra Louana Marlanti (b. Athens, 1989) and Giulio Squillacciotti (b. Rome, 1982) are the first to be commissioned by Triennale Milano and the UN SDG Action Campaign on these issues. With these goals in mind, Dimitra and Giulio were invited to create two works, in the form of unique, personal interpretations. Both video essays will premiere today at the SDG Global Festival of Action and are being showcased in the Festival’s digital experience and action space alongside the works of legendary and emerging artists and activists from across the world.
Predictions of Uncertainty (Trailer) - Dimitra Louana Marlanti
Portrait of Dimitra Louana Marlanti, ©Camille Vivier
Portrait of Dimitra Louana Marlanti, ©Camille Vivier
Dimitra Louana Marlanti offers a circular vision of time, perhaps drawing on her Greek origins. By combining particular visual and sound elements, at a certain point this vision generates a space-time short-circuit in which past, present and future merge and become indistinguishable. Wavering between the certain and the uncertain, and between science and meta-science, the alienated and alienating images we see in Dimitra Louana Marlanti’s work question the false narratives we surround ourselves with, as if to exorcise our inevitable, ultimate extinction. She explores reality in its relation to the formulation of truth and its different time-scales.
We asked Dimitra Louana Marlanti two questions to understand how she tackled the project commissioned by Triennale Milano and the UN SDG Action Campaign.
How did you formulate the key focus areas for the sustainable development goals of gender equality, climate action, inequalities and the creation of more sustainable systems, coupled with the themes of the 23rd International Exhibition?
Dimitra: “The most immediate unknown that comes to everyone’s mind, I guess, is the future. The future in every sense, on both a micro and a macro scale, from the individual to humanity, to the universe, in both the short and the long term. The 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition and the UN SDG Action Campaign have the future at their key topic. So, when thinking about the future, I started investigating the aspect of prediction. My work took me in different directions, from science to parascience, to futurology and even divination and the age-old human urge to predict due to our fear of uncertainty. As the title suggests, Predictions of Uncertainty is a visual representation that connects the dots between past and future and different forms of prediction, posing questions about their role in the speculation of different futures. At the same time, uncertainty becomes the only certainty that can be associated with the future, while the idea of prediction should be reconsidered in the light of very specific temporal and spatial aspects. It should also consider and give space to non-epistemic tools based on human history, tradition, and experience. I usually work with stock and found footage as I like to recontextualise images that were created for different purposes and give them new meaning through editing, manipulation, and juxtaposition. In this case, I used this approach to somehow condense all these complex topics and questions (which would ordinarily need hours of discussion) into an emotional impression, as well as into an action that would raise awareness about something that concerns all of us – the environment.”
What is the Unknown that you would never want revealed?
Dimitra: “The unknown that I would never want to be revealed is the mathematical equation that shows that there is a particular order in Chaos. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but if it does, I would always like to think that chance exists and that there will always be doubt and surprise.”
Predictions of Uncertainty (Trailer) - Dimitra Louana Marlanti
Dimitra Louana Marlanti Dimitra Louana Marlanti is a video maker who lives in Milan and Athens. She studied Architecture at the Politecnico University in Milan, and Communication at the Istituto Europeo di Design. Being interested in society and perception, she completed her thesis in Psychogeography and started using video as a medium. Her visual essays explore decontextualisation and reappropriation. She sources, manipulates, edits, distorts and, in some cases, completely recreates found footage to build new narratives that challenge the viewer’s preconceptions and their relationship with signs and symbols.
Soundtrack: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Aquarius, Tierkreis - Zodiac, 12 Melodies of the Star Signs Ricciarda Belgiojoso Keyboards, Walter Prati Electronic - Electronics Live Set Metrica Edizioni 001, 2020  Words by iLiana Fokianaki Sound Mix by Thomas Ripley Assistant by Dora Kyriakou  A special thanks to Maximilian Mein