The Tower Trilogy (2013)

The Tower trilogy is a short film, it was made with 16 mm film and a digital film camera. The stop-motion technique was used most of the time to animate children's toys, and various objects like chess pieces. On the 16 mm film strip Barbara Agreste did some two-dimensional animation by scratching its surface and adding bleach to it, superimposing the light lines on the other scenes with defined perspectives and three-dimensional shots.

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2013
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Wednesday Aug 28th, 2013
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • BarbaraAgreste, primary creator
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Artist Statement

The Tower Trilogy has three titles that originated in Italian: “La Torre, Le Formiche, Lo Specchio” and they translate this way in english : “The Tower, The Insects, The Mirror”. This animation is made with 16 mm film, and DV video, and it is very abstract although some figures appear on the screen at some points.

It is a work in which I explore the state of hysteria. The first piece, “La Torre”, is a 3D animation presenting a claustrophobic space in which some objects rotate on themselves on a chequered floor. In this piece there is an atmosphere of emergency and “loss of control”: the doll’s head spins on itself faster and faster in this dark space where a sense of prisony and oppression is staged by the absence of windows or doors, and a first stage of hysteria here is identified with the worms crossing the room.

The theme of hysteria manifests more overtly in the struggle of the second section “Le Formiche”, in which a succession of images of shaking hair, falling flowers, black paint on canvas, and frenetic body movements inhabit the screen. With the obsessive shaking of the head of a real performer, this part also represents a moment of denial but at the same time a process of purification.

The third part of the trilogy, “Lo Specchio”, revolves around the theme of death in a settings very similar to the first piece “La Torre”, just this time the atmosphere in the room with the chequered floor has changed, because the struggle and the tension are now gone. Also the light is different, from night it has become day, the sunlight reached the room as if a window finally opened up in it.

While some dead flowers keep falling from the sky/ceiling together with fragments of mirror making a dry sound, everything else is unmoving until we see an outburst of rain: the sole element that can clean and restore hope to the sense of anguish of the entire film.

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