Last Wednesday, Orlando artist Fatima Lotfi Rice (Associate Course Director, Typography) revealed the final result of her most recent artistic vision: a multisensory installation titled “12 Stories.”
The exhibit was held in the Atrium of Building FS4E and featured not only visual, but also audio and olfactory elements. “I like to create events where the viewer is immersed in the scene,” explained Fatima. “When a person enters the room, all senses are put to the test.”
In this case, the room smelled of an earthy incense, and the sound of live jazz played by a drum-and-piano duo reverberated off the high-ceilinged Atrium. On opposite and facing walls, looped video clips were illuminated by a projector.
The project, made possible by the United Arts of Central Florida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts, was inspired by Italian journalist Italo Calvino. Fatima developed a concept based on Calvino’s book Six Memos for the Next Millennium, a compilation of lectures created for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard.
Because Calvino’s lectures were written fifteen years before the millennium, Fatima invited twelve fifteen-year-old students from Lake Mary Preparatory School to contribute to the project. Under Fatima’s direction – and with help from Lake Mary teachers Allison Mora and Nikki Morrell – the students wrote and produced twelve short films.
“The film sequence is based on Jacques Demy’s work, where each film has details from the previous film, and are connected by color, shapes, and themes. I edited the twelve films, and the final product is over a half hour of their stories,” said Fatima.
Terry Olson, Orange County’s Director of Arts & Cultural Affairs, was among those present at the installation. “I think that Fatima is really great at strong conceptual kinds of art,” he commented. “She’s obviously created an environment and an experience here.”