The National Museum of Modern Art in Paris is hosting the second act of the five important scenes of La passion selon Carol Rama from 3 April to July 12, 2015. This large-scale retrospective exhibition is dedicated to the eccentric Turin native artist. This is her first Parisian solo exhibit. It is the result of an itinerant project that was officially presented at Barcelona’s MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art at the beginning of the year. The duration of the tour is scheduled for a 2-year period and will be hosted in museums in Finland, Ireland and Italy, including the artist’s native city of Turin.
Each leg of the exhibit tour is enhanced with new details. In the case of the Paris exhibit, curated by the museum’s director Anne Dressen, spectators will have an opportunity to explore a special area dedicated to the life of the artist that stretches beyond the works on display. The exhibit is presenting about 200 works including watercolours, bricolages and installations created with materials like bicycle inner tubes and painted rawhide – all of which share the leitmotif of Passion, interpreted as a taste for the forbidden and provocation. After all, Carol Rama has never hidden the fact that Sin has always acted as mentor in her art and in her life – pressing her to overcome the limitations dictated by social conventions and modesty. Her extremely provocative paintings were often censored because considered obscene. Shapes and colours place emphasis upon oversized mouths, lips, male and female sexual organs which, aside from their connotations – mutilated, exposed and portrayed in the bodily functions – are striking in their vitality. Passion.
The fulcrum of the exhibition is the privileged entrance to Rama’s studio home, a reserved area that stands apart from the exposition of paintings and installations: this site specific installation was created by artist Bepi Ghiotti and sound artist Paolo Curtoni. Spectators are invited to step into an intimate area inside the museum to experience the private space of the artist by viewing photographs taken by Ghiotti, hearing Carol Rama’s voice and the sounds recorded in her studio, observing her work tools, souvenirs and fetish objects. Contact with the controversial, impudent and courageous artist becomes even more direct and intimate. The contentious issues she explored stimulate reflections that are very timely.