Jani Ruscica (b.1978) is an artist working with film, video, photography and other media. Ruscica works collaboratively, his interest lies in how one defines one’s location, one’s placement in the world, and how this definition changes – continuously, if necessary – according to personal, cultural, representational or even scientific factors. Ruscicas works explore the intersection between cinema, video art, theatre and performance. His recent exhibitions include 6th Liverpool Biennial, 2010, 5th Momentum Biennial, Moss, Norway 2009, ‘Life Forms’ Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, 2009, ”Tracking Traces…” Kiasma, Helsinki as well as screenings in institutions such as Centre Pompidou, Paris, TATE Modern, London and MoMA, New York. His film Evolutions was awarded the main prize at at the prestigious KunstFilm Biennale in Cologne in 2009, in 2010 Ruscica was awarded the AVEK prize for important achievements in audio visual culture. Ruscica is based in Helsinki and was educated at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.
A poetic depiction of Sicilian folklore traditions, Swan Song is a farewell to a time that no longer exists. Rinaldo, a traditional Sicilian marionette plays out his epic duel against fall into oblivion. A folk song, performed by old Sicilians, serves as the backbone of the piece. The song arouses memories and creates a sense of community.
Created in collaboration with the New York beatboxers Kid Lucky and Shockwave, and the spoken word artist Vocab, “Beatbox” portrays sound and movement as self-expressive navigational tools. In the style of city symphonies, the beatboxers have created the entire soundtrack of the film by interpreting and imitating the sounds of their surroundings. A mysterious spotlight shows the urban space as a stage where, in the words of Vocab, “every street corner has the ability to tell a thousand stories”.