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Shipsides and Beggs Projects - BIVACCO video


HD video 21min
Shipsides and Beggs Projects

Over a number of years, Shipsides and Beggs Projects have been working on an open-ended and on-going research project in the Italian Dolomites based around a type of mountaineering called Via Ferrata (meaning the “iron way” it was developed during WW1 to move troops into strategic summit and extreme positions aided by metal wires and stemples).

The video work BIVACCO is one outcome of this research. It is an experimental video based around the ascent of Mt. Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites and the focus of severe mountain warfare during WW1. The footage was mostly shot during the ascent and days before and after in the valley and gives an account of a close encounter with a lightening strike. The climb follows the Via Ferrata and a modified camera technique and edit incorporates and amplifies the significance of the wire itself. The video combines harsh, dynamic and at times atmospherically beautiful footage of the climb with softer human exchanges and conversations.

The word Bivacco is Italian for Bivouac and has its origin of meaning in“to watch” or “post look-out”.

For Shipsides and Beggs, BIVACCO follows a pattern of research where climbing and mountains form the backbone of their creative act and conversation - acting as a gateway and frame to wider life, culture and society. It is typical of their dual approach where working in the moment with a focused task at hand combines with an inquisitive open-mindedness to follow chance occurrence and serendipity so that something entirely unexpected might develop - bringing new shapes and perspectives to the project.


Premiered at Aliceday Gallery Brussels April 2011 as part of two solo shows: Still not out of the woods: Neal Beggs and Vigil: Star: Dan Shipsides.

Shown at:

DESIRE LINES. ACCA, Melbourne Australia. 2012. Solo commission and group show. Curated by Juliana Engberg.

BIVACCO | STAR. Dan Shipsides (& SBP). The Third Space Gallery Belfast. Solo show.

VIGIL: STAR. Aliceday Gallery Brussels. Dan Shipsides / Shipsides and Beggs Projects. (Dan Shipsides Solo show)*

DEATH TO DELAWAB. Group show, Delawab Art Space, Belfast. Shipsides and Beggs Projects.