Devis Venturelli's videography reaches back to 2003, and his films have an average duration of a few minutes, but since they know no beginning and no end, they lend themselves to be repeated. If we wanted to go beyond formal and technical considerations, and talk about their poetic quality, then we could say that the wind plays a central role in these often (at first sight) absurd observations.
The wind, the son of heaven, is the mover, the force that brings change. What characterizes Venturelli's work is not the annoying, cynical wit that can be found everywhere in contemporary art, but rather a sort of poetic humor resulting from an astonishing, poetic metamorphosis of the ordinary world. If we try to think of a parallel with 20th century art history, what comes to our mind is his kinship with surrealism, e.g. Meret Oppenheim's fur cup, which transposed an object familiar to everybody into the domain of polysemy by physically modifying it and covering it. Venturelli clothes traffic lights, road blocks, or drain covers, transforming them into fairy-tale, and irritant, situations.
The wind, in his short (or endless, if repeated) films, transforms and changes a world where it is easy for us to fall prey to the evil power of objects and be subject to their whims. In Continuum (2008) the artist is the hidden protagonist who, like Jaques Tati or Charlie Chaplin, is at the mercy of the wind, which changes his plans with every step he takes. This work also shows another quality of Venturelli's art, its complex semantic and semiotic structure. The wind also awakes the (otherwise dead) furry glimmer of his traffic light, makes halved ladies dance, or moves the hair under the drain covers, thereby suggesting the presence of an underground monster in ambush.
The distinctive quality of Venturelli's works consists in awaking the usual world of urban furnishing to a new, poetic life, a sort of daydream. In doing so, he makes sure to obtain the help of the wind, which conditions us psychically (beyond all plausible meteorological explanations) and is also a poetic metaphor for the continuous, and unpredictable, changes of our existence.
With very basic images, Venturelli succeeds in creating similes that reach beyond the here and now, cause liberating peals of laughter, and last in our imagination long after we have looked at them.