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Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta

Natalie Cristiani
Nicola Costantino: La artefacta
Argentina 2015 / 75’

Take a bath with me, says a naked woman in a sensual voice as she reaches for the soap. Contrary to appearances, this is not a commercial but rather Nicola Costantino's project Savon de corps. In 2004, Costantino, an Argentinean visual artist and sculptor, underwent liposuction. She decided to use part of the removed fat for the production of soap, and she used the catchy slogan "3% essence of Nicola" to advertise it. Later, in a 2010 photograph in which she is posed like a female figure from a Renaissance painting, she has wings formed from two pig carcasses. Italian director Natalie Cristiani reveals Costantino's disturbing world in which her fundamental artistic material-the title artifact-is her own body and her childhood memories, including of a father figure who was a gynecologist and who allowed his daughter to watch him perform surgical operations. Since the 1990s, Costantino has been combining contradictions in her creative work-glamour and taxidermy, haute couture and politics-, thus examining the relationship between the mechanisms that have been used to create the canons of beauty and consumerist oppression. Cristiani's documentary is not a classic biopic; instead, it is an original marriage of a video diary and a series of mesmerizing staging in which the artist presents her work.

Mariusz Mikliński


Italian Bellaria doc film festival 2016 - Casa Rossa Art doc Award

Natalie Cristiani

Born in 1975 in Rimini, Natalie Cristiani is an Italian director and film editor. She graduated in 2002 from Rome's Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. She met controversial artist Nicola Costantino in Argentina. Cristiani's documentary about the artist, her debut film, has been screened at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, among other places.

Selected filmography

2015 Nicola Costantino: artefakt / Nicola Costantino: La artefacta / Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta

Cast & Crew

director Natalie Cristiani
screenplay Natalie Cristiani, Nicola Costantino
cinematography Ariel Iacovone, Pablo Padovani
editing Natalie Cristiani
music Leandro Chiappe, Roberto Paci Dalò
cast Nicola Costantino
producer Francesca Chiappetta, Natalie Cristiani
sales Cocinelle Film
language Spanish
colouration colour