Living (the) images
Silvia Rosi, Caterina Erica Shanta and Alba Zari
Curated by Giangavino Pazzola

Images tell and narrate, show and represent. According to W.J.T. Mitchell, the approach to images is, on the one hand, a challenge when establishing a contact and, on the other, the threat of a confrontation. Being at the same time are artifacts and cultural manipulations, images mean much more than what they materially contain, thus promoting instability and turbulence in their understanding. They stimulate messages, values and emotions (sometimes even in an unwanted or unexpected way) while establishing a bond with the objects and realities they represent.

Through the observation of the works of Alba Zari, Caterina Erica Shanta and Silvia Rosi, Living (the) images proposes an investigation on the social and political content present in the current research in contemporary Italian photography. Furthermore, the show highlights the modalities with which the photographic practice today is put under scrutiny by objects, physical or virtual archives, cultures and technologies.

Alba Zari (Bangkok, 1987) lives and works in London. The experience of a traveler that characterizes her life since childhood influences and is reflected in her photographic practice, which intends to explore social themes, for example her visual studies of mental health centres since the Italian Basaglia Law and of the widespread eating disorders of the American society. Without resorting to optical tricks or special effects, Zari tells her story about her; in doing so, she investigates the ambiguity that is intrinsic to photography, as well as the medium’s arcane relationship with reality and memory, its documentary power, and its limits. With the project
Occult she wins the Images Vevey 2021/2022 Special Jury award in September 2022 and with the The Y she is part of the FOAM Talents of 2020.

Caterina Erica Shanta (Germany, 1986) is a visual artist based in Pordenone. She works primarily in the field of motion pictures, exploring how images produced by others are linked to particular backgrounds. Selecting mixed and re-edited material such as videos, films and archive photos as the medium for the main one, her research focuses on the redefinition of images typical of the languages of documentary films. Shanta has taken part in artistic residencies such as Atelier Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Careof Art Residency, as well as participating in artistic programs such as VISIO-European Program on Artists’ Moving Images at the Screen Festival of art.

Silvia Rosi (Scandiano, 1992) lives and works between London and Modena. Her work traces her own personal history, drawing on the Togolese heritage of the family and the idea of her origins. The theme is explored through self-portraits in which she plays her parents, recounting
their experience of migration from Togo to Italy. Her images are directly influenced by the West African studio portrait tradition. She is one of the three finalists of the MAXXI Bvlgari Prize 2022 and her self-portraits have been awarded the Jerwood / Photoworks Awards and have been included in the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain (2020) project. Her work has also been exhibited internationally at LACMA in Los Angeles and Autograph ABP in the UK


Dietro Casa
Marta Naturale
In collaboration with Francesca Antonini, Rome

Ncontemporary is pleased to present “Dietro Casa”, the first solo show of Marta Naturale (Mirano, 1990) in Milan, organized in collaboration with the Francesca Antonini gallery in Rome. Marta Naturale’s artistic research has its roots in everyday life, an essential element of investigation to be questioned in an attempt to gain access to a broader understanding of reality. The artist observes what surrounds her and transports in her works what she personally experiences. This exploratory activity embodies an anti-heroic perspective that shuns the search for spectacular situations located in a mythical or idealized “elsewhere”, preferring to delve into the quiet ordinariness of the daily routine.

The concept of living is part of this perspective, an anthropological theme par excellence, capable of taking on that particular amalgam of senses, meanings, symbologies, narratives which human civilization has given expression over the centuries. The artist’s fascination with the modalities of settlement of human civilization sinks into the fascination with the different tactics that the human being adopts in leading his life, in the strenuous attempt to forget the irruption of the unpredictable
and to ignore his own ineluctable mortality.

The oxymoron between everyday life and mortality is the focus of the exhibition; the two subjects represented, a house and a cemetery, trigger a contradictory dialogue between them and highlight in an ironic way the interconnections that are interwoven, in spite of ourselves, between two
instances that we would like to be irreconcilable, such as life and death.
The techniques used, egg tempera and oil on wood, freeze the image on the painted surface and try to make permanent the unrepeatable peculiarity of the moment that appears at first glance anything but exceptional. In this sense, the subject of the single-family house embodies both the stereotype and the archetype of the perfect house that brings with it an orderly and desirable model of life, and becomes an image of the realization of the happiness that we stubbornly try to pursue. The problem
of our mortality therefore continues to exist parallel to the daily routine, like two sides of the same coin which is impossible to contemplate at the same time, but which at the same time casts its shadow on every aspect of life.

Marta Naturale (Mirano, 1990), lives and works between Noale and Venice. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Painting section, in 2019. In recent years, her works have been exhibited on the occasion of the personal La passeggiata curated by Maria Chiara Valacchi, at the
Francesca Antonini Arte Contemporanea gallery in Rome ; within the Venice Time Case exhibition curated by Luca Massimo Barbero in Milan and Paris; at Artissima 2021; at the Collective of young artists Bevilacqua La Masa in the 101st and 102nd editions. In October 2022 her works are also part of “Small Fixations” at ICA Milan.

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