LONDON.- Richard Saltoun Gallery
announces representation of the feminist artist Silvia Giambrone. Combining a practice that encompasses performance, installation, photography, sculpture and sound, Giambrone explores contemporary body politics, with a particular focus on violence against women, both physical and psychological.
Employing an almost ethnographic approach, Giambrone casts a critical gaze on the traditional domestic environment and excavates the inherent yet often hidden power dynamics between men and women. By addressing the social taboo of domestic violence, Giambrone positions herself next to a long line of historical Feminists from Helen Chadwick and Judy Chicago to Margaret Harrison, Linder and Gina Pane who used art as a vehicle to uproot inequality within the household and workplace, challenge social stereotypes associated with women and confront fixed identities. Like these seminal figures, Giambrone magnifies a deeper, more insidious thread of the female condition. Heavily influenced by the writer Carla Lonzi, who together with Carla Accardi formed one of the most radical Feminist Movements in Italy in the late 1970s, Giambrone digs into the heavily shrouded arena of violence, attempting to understand and unearth humanitys tendency towards brutality whilst simultaneously calling into question its domestication and normalisation.
Like the concepts she wishes to address, Giambrones works are equally enigmatic, with meaning often subverted or concealed. In one of her most important performances, Anatomical Theatre (2012), Giambrone addresses womens imprisonment in the home. Defiantly using embroidery, a media traditionally confined to womens work, Giambrone places a lace collar around her neck, which is slowly and painfully stitched onto her skin by a male performer. She slowly buttons up her blouse, looks at herself in the mirror and fixes her hair; we are our own prisoners. In Vertigo, (2015), Giambrone combines a compendium of familiar and homely items, such as a spoon, string and tin foil, juxtaposed next to objects evoking violence: a hammer, nails, scissors and knives. Here the home is not a place of safety and comfort but one of fear and paranoia. In Heroin (2018), Giambrone returns to the medium of embroidery, this time using thread to depict a heroin molecule. The work references the noxious and destructive chemistry of human relationships in domestic milieus.
Silvia Giambrone (b. 1981, Agrigento, Italy) lives and works between Rome and London. Her work has featured in numerous group exhibitions around the world, including Young Italians 1968 2018 at the Italian Institute of Culture, New York, NY, USA (2018);Il corpo è un indumento fragile, curated by Paola Ugolini, Museo del Novecento, Florence, Italy(2018); Time is out of Joint, National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (2017); W. Women in Italian Design, IX Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy (2016); and Diversi Muri: An Homage to NOF4,Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (2014). Solo exhibitions have been held at the Rossini Foundation, Briosco, Italy (2018); Italienisches Kulturinstitut, Cologne, Germany (2015); National Museum of M. K. Čiurlionis, Kaunas, Lithuania (2015); and MAR Museum, Ravenna, Italy (2013).