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The Artefacta: Nicola Costantino

Distributed by Grasshopper Films, 12 East 32nd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Produced by Natalie Cristiani, Francesca Chiappetta
Directed by Natalie Cristiani
DVD, color, 75 min.
College - General Adult
Art, Latin Americans

Reviewed by Brian Falato, University of South Florida Tampa Campus Library

Date Entered: 9/6/2017

Nicola Costantino is an Argentine artist of Italian ancestry. She is the daughter of a surgeon and fashion designer, and both occupations have figured into her art. She designs and sews clothes for her works (and sees clothing as a form of sculpture), and her art frequently focuses on the body, both human and animal.

Among her works are 200 soap bars made from fat liposuctioned from her hips, clothes and accessories made of male nipple casts, and animal carcasses she embalmed and rolled into spheres, a shape she calls “a classic beauty.” After she became pregnant, she made a cast of her body, then worked on this “double,” as she called it, throughout her pregnancy, emphasizing the contrast between her expanding shape and her previous self.

Costantino provides voiceover throughout the documentary, and is the only significant voice heard. The visuals are mostly of her at work, with additional scenes of her with her young son. Her narration provides a kind of artist’s statement, the kind you might see in exhibitions of her work, but extended to fill the 75-minute documentary.

Although interesting, the single speaker does provide a limited viewpoint. This documentary is recommended for art libraries, and universities and public libraries with major holdings in art.