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
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.
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.
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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.