Photography, the preferred medium of multimedia artist Maria di Stefano, forms the basis of an installation and urban project, crossing the city of Rome using advertising spaces on tram line 19, going from Centocelle to Prati. These spaces, usually used for advertising will, in fact, be taken over by thirty-three unpublished portraits of adolescents born or raised in Italy by parents of different origins. These young people’s presence not only highlights the richness of their individual heritage, but is also evidence of the bureaucratic limbo in which they are suspended.
“An exhibition gesture – states the press release – that replaces the advertising message with an equally contemporary emblem of our society, aesthetically reactivating these places spread around the city. The poster becomes a statement and is transformed into a new dimension of encounter and relationship with the other, the other face of the city, even with ourselves who are behind the gaze and become the objects of the gaze of the girls and boys photographed.”
Maria di Stefano’s interest, found in every medium she uses, is predominantly anthropological, touching on individual and collective aspects, such as those linked to the rituals of the Vietnamese community in Berlin’s Don Xuan Center (Hello World and Rouge) or to the Kali’na Indians of the Amazon in World Hello.
Now the images and energy captured in her portraits enter the media power of advertising spaces, marking a journey that meets the city in a tram route which crosses a considerable area of Rome taking in a variety of neighbourhoods.
“This is us is both a journey and a testimony – fierce, poetic, incisive and gentle, as only reality can be”, says the curator of the project, Veronica He.
This is us, photographic project by Maria Di Stefano, curated by Veronica He
advertising spaces along the line of tram number 19, Rome, 30.09 – 20.12.2021
images: (cover 1) Maria Di Stefano, «Michael e Barbara/ Tor Sapienza», 2021. (2) Maria Di Stefano, «Leonardo, Kevin e le loro madri/ Prato Fiorito», 2021. (3) Maria Di Stefano, «Milos/ Palestra Popolare Quarticciolo», 2021 (4) Maria Di Stefano, «Illias e Naim/ Moschea di Roma», 2021. (5) Maria Di Stefano, «Paola e Mattia/ Ristorante Ishin Casalotti», 2021.