COMMISSIONS | 2020

Silvia Rosi

Silvia Rosi is reflecting on the different structures we build, and how the absence of touch affects our social behaviour and instils fear during a time of change. Discover the artists wider practice and her response to Care | Contagion | Community — Self & Other.

Silvia Rosi, Self Portrait as my Father from the series Encounter, 2019 

Silvia Rosi (b. 1992, Scandiano) works with photography, text and moving image to explore ideas of memory, migration and diaspora. Inspired by West African studio photography, her practice explores her personal history through self-portraiture, drawing on her Togolese heritage and family traditions, especially matrilineality, and women’s labour.

At the beginning of the global lockdown in March 2020, Rosi was in Togo where she witnessed the pandemic’s devastating impact on the women traders at the market in Lomé. Considering the risk Covid-19 posed to their livelihood, Rosi will respond to the idea of Care | Contagion | Community with a new project combining still and moving image to explore politics of class, access and privilege as well as the changed meaning of objects/goods during this time of crisis. Rosi aims to interpret the notion of contagion as a tangible sense of fear manifest in human interactions, investigating the ways in which this virus has affected social norms and behavioural patterns.

We'll update this page as the commission progresses, join our mailing list for updates. In the meantime, read an introduction to the Care | Contagion | Community project by Autograph's Senior Curator Renée Mussai.

Silvia Rosi, Self Portrait as my Mother in School Uniform from the series Encounter, 2019 

Silvia Rosi, Self Portrait as my Mother from the series Encounter, 2019       

Part of Care | Contagion | Community — Self & Other

Autograph has commissioned ten artists to create new work responding to the wider context of the Covid-19 crisis. Initiated during the first month of lockdown, Autograph’s curatorial team Mark Sealy, Renée Mussai and Bindi Vora have been in close dialogue with a constituency of creative practitioners in our immediate artistic community. For the first phase, we have invited UK-based artists working with photography, film and lens-based media to create a new small-scale, open-ended visual arts project. The second phase will encompass ten new writing commissions, where each writer – paired with one of the artists – will be tasked to produce a short essay contextualising these newly commissioned works.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

In 2019, Silvia Rosi was the recipient of the Jerwood/Photoworks Award in which she was commissioned to develop Encounter, a fictional representation of Rosi’s family album. Using an image of her young mother as a market trader in Lomé (Togo) as the point of departure, Rosi retraced her parents’ journey of migration from Togo to Italy, playfully restaging portraits based on oral history testimonies. The series’ focal point is the act of head carrying, a skill traditionally passed on from mother to daughter, learned and performed by Rosi in an attempt to regain to her cultural roots partially lost through the process of migration.

Rosi was an artist-in-residence at Thread in Senegal in 2019. Her recent series was recently exhibited at Landskrona Festival, Sweden, Getxo Photo, Spain and Photo Oxford UK.

FIND OUT MORE

Visit Silvia Rosi's website to see more of her work.

Read Silvia Rosi recreates her mother’s stories of migration in the British Journal of Photography.

Silvia Rosi shares her experiences of being part of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020.

Read Silvia Rosi on Migration, Matriarchy and Photography as Ritual on Elephant.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Can you spare a few moments? Autograph is carrying out a survey to better understand who our digital audiences are. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by Autograph and The Audience Agency, who are running the survey on our behalf. In compliance with GDPR, your data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purposes it was given. You can take the survey here. Thank you!

AN AUTOGRAPH ARTIST COMMISSION



SUPPORTED BY

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England


Images, from top: 1) Silvia Rosi, Self Portrait as my Father from the series Encounter (2019). Commissioned by Jerwood / Photoworks Award 2020. 2) Silvia Rosi, Self Portrait as my Mother in School Uniform from the series Encounter (2019). Commissioned by Jerwood / Photoworks Award 2020. 3) Silvia Rosi, Self Portrait as my Mother from the series Encounter (2019). Commissioned by Jerwood / Photoworks Award 2020. All images courtesy and © Silvia Rosi.