Skip to content

AiR: Bernando Zanotta

The Private Eye, The Public Ear



Haniasteeg 47
8911 BX Leeuwarden


za, 21 aug. 2021 / zo, 12 sep. 2021

AiR: Bernando Zanotta

THE PRIVATE EYE : THE PUBLIC EAR THE PRIVATE EYE: THE PUBLIC EAR is an installation by artist Bernardo Zanotta. In the work the characters from the play ‘Equus’ by Peter Shaffer from 1973 intertwine themselves with the personal experiences of Frisian participants from the queer community, who will read parts of the play. THE PRIVATE EYE: THE PUBLIC EAR is about hiding or the opposite, revealing, and how the sharing of a personal story adds to the rewriting of the collective (queer)history.

The original play ‘Equus’ (1973), that serves as an inspiration, is a fictional psychoanalytical piece that takes place in a provincial town in England. A stable boy in his teens has committed a crime; he blinded six horses. The play is possibly inspired by a famous case by Freud, in which a fear of horses symbolizes repressed sexuality.

The work created by artist Bernardo Zanotta and made in collaboration with Frisian participants, brings the piece from 1973 back to life in a Frisian context and can be experienced in the exhibition space of Kunstruimte H47 in Leeuwarden.

About Bernardo Zanotta and the making process:

Bernardo Zanotta (1996) is a Brazilian filmmaker, visual artist and writer. His films have been shown internationally, and have been praised at manifestations such as Locarno Filmfestival, Queer Lisboa and Vilnius Film Festival. Zanotta has a bachelor in Moving Image he got at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam,where he recently also did a research fellowship.

During the making of THE PRIVATE EYE: THE PUBLIC EAR Zanotta stayed in the artist residency at VHDG in the Haniahof in Leeuwarden, but in times of corona-lockdown he also did a lot of research online. He visited locations – stable, riding school, farm – and got to know the Frisians from the queer community. The work assumed new forms constantly; from a series of workshops to a theatre play, short movie to video installation. Eventually, writes Zanotta, “it became all in one.”

While the original Equus is situated in a provincial town in England, according to Zanotta it could have had every countryside town as a setting. “It shows a universally sort of idyll of isolated placed and shows what it means to grow up in such a place as a queer person.” Leeuwarden, with its remote place in the Netherlands, soon became more than just a décor or a place to stay, but a part of the work itself.

CURATOR | Nia Konstantinova | PARTICIPANTS | Frans Dressens, Brent Jaeger, Quinten Visser, Lucas Klompstra, Anton Felipa, Niek Horst | CINEMATOGROPHY | Joost Wierenga | ADDITIONAL CAMERA | Raydrick Feliciana | ASSISTENT D.O.P | Katie Ceekay | GRAPHIC DESIGN | Dirk Verweij and Medeina Musteikyte | LOCATION | Stefano Dooijes, Reg Mulder | PRODUCTION | Gisanne Hendriks, Hillebrand Rijpma | PROJECT COÖRDINATOR | Agnes Winter | ARTISTIC ADVISOR | Antonis Pittas | PR | Anna Lillioja, Mees van Rijswijk | BUILDUP | Klaske Kok | FUNDRAISING | Arda van Tiggelen SPECIAL THANKS TO | Anton Felipa, Renate Vasterd, Hinke-Ann Eleveld, Wendy Viel, SIGN, Esther v der Pas | MADE WITH THE SUPPORT OF | Mondriaan Fonds, BankGiro Loterij, Gemeente Leeuwarden, Provincie Fryslan