In Of This Being, Brooklyn-based artist Andrea Martucci employs multiple methods of photographic image making, along with video and sculptural explorations. This exhibition developed out of the artist’s drive to solidify a distorted identity, a result of coming of age while experiencing gender-based violence. Drawing from memory, Martucci renders imagery of bodily trauma in suspension and as sites of potential reaction. This work operates as a space of reflection, processing, and ultimately progression.
On the eve of her solo show, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrea to talk about her work, her influences and the curation of this exhibition.
Ronnie Yang: Can you tell us a bit about yourself personally and artistically?
Andrea Martucci: I am 24 years old and hail from Detroit, MI. I earned my BFA from The College for Creative Studies in photography with a minor in fine art and a focus on sculpture. I have worked in arts education for the Detroit Public Schools system and Oakland University, as well as art institutions including The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and The Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography.
RY: What does it mean to you to make work?
AM: I’ve been artistically inclined all of my life. It’s natural for me to express myself through my materials. I consider my work an extension of the self, a tactile expression of my growth and what is discarded in the process.
RY: Tell us about the title of the show, Of This Being and its significance?
AM: The title came as a result of the writings in my thesis book. I wanted the title to reflect the desire to be known for more than just this body or more than just the things that can happen to it. My advisor, Justine Kurland suggested a more holistic perspective which seemed to evoke a more positive connotation – “You can be more than just a body.”
RY: The concept of memory is a central element to the show, how has memory changed for you (if at all) through time?
AM: I think about time and memory a lot. Not necessarily how it changes over time, but just how it interacts with time. In my thesis I wrote a lot about how we tend to want to think about time in a linear, obvious way.
During times of trauma, this dynamic becomes less structured. Moments can replay over and over in the mind, causing them to take on a larger life.
RY: How does putting your work “on the wall” change the emotional weight of it?
AM: Putting work on the wall gives it more of a sense of tangibility, it becomes more of an object that you look upon and think about. Specifically, with the sculptural pieces, they become physically elevated, which can give them more emotional weight.
RY: How is your video work similar or different from your photography?
AM: My video work provides context that my other work does not. Hairstories is the narration of specific personal and familial anecdotes. It also makes the other work more specific. The video is also very science and materials based, more explicit, which is why it resides by itself in the show.
RY: How do the sculptural pieces integrate into the show?
AM: I think of the sculptural pieces as tangible records, of time and materials, in a way as evidence. They serve as visualizations of things that initially exist just in the mind, such as trauma and anxiety. I also appreciate the dialogue that can emerge between images and objects, creating additional layers to the narrative. Different relationships are often cultivated between viewer, object and the space. I love being able to integrate all those elements and still feel it is true to what I’m saying.
RY: What was the process like in deciding what to include in the show and how best to curate it?
AM: An initial inclination would be to do a retrospective of one’s work. With the help, again, of Justine, I decided to focus on work that made sense, work that focused on the body, trauma on the body and that would provide a clearer and more cohesive narrative.
It also made me appreciate the role of curation and how important it is to sequence the work – the right pieces together, in the right context with each other. There was other work I really liked, but not in the circumstance of this show. It doesn’t mean it’s not a part of my work. It feels good to have the clarity to make those choices.
On This Being
ICP-Bard MFA 2019 Solo Thesis Exhibition Opening: Andrea Martucci
Opening Reception: May 2, 2019 (6-9pm)
On view: May 3-5 | 12-6 PM or by appointment.
24-20 Jackson Avenue, 3rd Flr, Long Island City, NY 11101