Matèria is pleased to present Intimations, the first double solo show in Rome by Othello De'Souza-Hartley and Silvia Rosi, curated by Alessandra Migani.
The exhibition - set to open on Thursday July 7, 2022 - is organised in association with Autograph and the Donata Pizzi Collection. Collezione Donata Pizzi was founded with the purpose of promoting the discovery and understanding of the most outstanding and original Italian female practitioners.
The works that compose the collection bear witness to the significant moments that have occurred in the last 50 years within the history of Italian photography by bringing to the forefront the conceptual, aesthetic and technological developments that have shaped this time-frame.
Intimations is born from the idea of further investigating the work of the two artists, originally commissioned by Autograph, London, for ‘Care, Contagion, Community - Self & Other’ (2020/2021) in response to the effects of the pandemic. Since 1988, Autograph, formerly known as the Association of Black Photographers, has been an agency that supports the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight issues of race, representation, human rights and social justice.
Othello De'Souza-Hartley and Silvia Rosi are united by the masterful use of the photographic self-portrait, by the introspective investigation and by the performance, taken in a dimension of forced suspension, evoking, with their work, a strong sense of intimacy, solitude, isolation and uncertainty. De'Souza-Hartley and Rosi experience the first London lockdown in March 2020 with a significantly different emotional state.
De'Souza-Hartley suffers the sudden loss of his father due to complications related to the Covid-19 virus. The proposal he receives from Autograph - and with him nine other artists - to create a work in response to the pandemic, turns into an opportunity to face mourning as well as the unlikely feat of ‘moving beyond the pain’. In approaching the commission, the artist unhesitatingly confronts the absence of his father. The photographs taken reproduce stillness and silence. And then there is time: new, dilated, penetrable. The artist faces his mourning, yet lives it in forced isolation, allowing the long days at home and the tree he sees from his window every day, to acquire incredible strength symbolism. While the human species lives holed up and afraid of a virus, nature offers a longing for life, a meditative space. Through this realisation, the artist decides to focus his gaze on the tree that gave him a chance for transformation. Blind but I can see - video on show - reflects on how much, with increasing frequency, we become blind to what is in front of our eyes, taken up by our daily commitments.
Likewise Silvia Rosi also faced lockdown, in her case in the isolation of her London apartment, where everyday gestures turned into measured, pondered, experienced and ritualized movements. Rosi decides to wade through the anxiety of her confinement by setting a stage for her actions, and does so physically by building a cube / room in which to re-enter and re-imagine herself only when she feels ready to tackle and depict the themes and feelings identified during such an abnormal period. ‘Neither could exist alone’ takes shape around and expands towards a reflection on the structures we build around us, believing they can protect us from suffering and, instead, isolate us; inevitably transforming human relationships.