Matèria is pleased to continue its vitrine program with Axis of Relating, a group exhibition curated by Marta Blanchietti - opening on Saturday, March the 11th - featuring works by Carlos Barradas, Tara Holmes, Catarina Lay, Caroline Mardok, Alyssa Meadows and Eva Zanettin.
The exhibition is developed through a double identity, both material and online. Through this immersive experience, visitors will have the opportunity to preview the artists' works in the gallery's vitrine, as well as discover a more expansive view through a curated virtual showroom, creating a dynamic dialogue and juxtaposition between the visual works, connecting the artists in a more extended form.
The project, born from Curae, curatorial course organized by PhMuseum (Bologna, IT) and led by Niccolò Fano, director of Matèria, presents a dialogue between six artists and one curator from across the globe.
Despite the apparent diversity of approaches, the exhibition results in an exchange of ideas and perspectives among the participants, aiming to investigate the sense of belonging to a community as a central element in the life of every human existence.
Being part of something bigger than the individual sphere brings with it both positive and negative aspects. It can provide an experience of belonging via creating an aspect of identity through that collective community, as well as an ability to not feel so alone in the world - it can also bring with it the isolating constraints of not conforming to that same community’s cultural values and traditions. The axis that connects the different projects is precisely this necessity of “being part of a community,” as well as its greater implications.
In Caroline Mardok’s project, we feel the force of the joy in the Trans and queer and black movements in NY giving shape to the positive flow of social and political change. This positive energy is also reflected in Eva Zanettin’s work, a project - shot in Berlin- that traverses all people who identify either as woman or feminine, linking individual transformation to the larger tapestry of womanhood, a floating web of physical and psychological elements that change with each individual and society, and overcoming the general understanding of gender as a binary.
In contrast, Alyssa Meadows' series examines when a social group constrains and imposes their views on another, their vision of how the world should be, while denying another their basic rights: women who want to abort their pregnancies, engage in their own bodily autonomy.
This darker, blurred aspect of community’s necessity can also be found – with a different nuance- in the work of Tara Holmes, where bodies are put into relation with technology, bringing to light an exploration of its effects, and how humans relate with this broader virtual community.
Carlos Barradas research shifts the attention to a completely different context, arriving in Sao Tomè e Principe, and he examines how being part of D’jambi becomes a collective healing ritual, allowing the local community to address and overcome the problematic legacy of colonialism on both black bodies and subsequent spirituality.
Last but not least, the final step of our exploration of this axis follows the intimate dimension of home and family, where Catarina Lay brings into focus how alone people can feel if they do not perceive themselves as belonging to part of a broader community, particularly in situations of displacement or continuous moving.
The exhibition is a visual conversation that speaks of home, of civil rights, of communities and their power to shape the realities they create, of humanity in its broadest meaning and all its fluid facets. And it explores relationships, public and individual struggles, and the rewriting of history through personal stories.
Photography is the predominant protagonist of the exhibition, articulating a journey that strives to bring to light the totality of the human experience in all its complexity, and its relation to the sense of belonging to a community.
The paths that extend from these projects delve into and narrate - through both a strong activist lens, and a more private, personal one - the social and civil dimensions of community as well as the more intimate spaces of home and family.
Axis of relating underlines, through these six visual explorations, one central element of everyone's life: namely the need to recognize ourselves in a community and to define ourselves within it.
The exhibition runs at the gallery’s vitrine and online until April 8, 2023.
More info here