Carol Rama's work did not have the opportunity to be seen in its own time. There was no epistemic-political framework in which it could be shown. Censorship pushed her into the margins of amateurism and the obscene. So the things that should have been said about Rama were left unsaid. But are we ready for Carol Rama now, in the 21st century museum?
Born into a bourgeois industrial family in Turin, Rama's work spans seven decades (1936-2006), creating a counter-archive that reconstructs the history of the 20th century avant-gardes. Carol Rama experimented with informalism, concrete abstract art and arte povera, without ever becoming part of these eminently male movements.
With her portraits of confinement, her organic bricolage, and her animalistic self-representations, Rama has created an oeuvre that transcends the biographical material –which it simultaneously feeds off– to invent a new dissident, utopian body.
SON[I]A talks to Paul Beatriz Preciado, co-curator of the show along with Teresa Grandas, about the exhibition "The Passion According to Carol Rama". Preciado takes us on a discursive tour through Rama's career, describing the processes of invisibilisation of her work that succeeded each other to the point where she became "completely extemporaneous".
02:45 Carol Rama, 'Comrade of our time'?
03:40 Against a normalising historiography
05:18 Watercolours, representations of confinement
08:47 Pornographying, eclipsing
11:18 Dorinas and Appassionatas: dissident portraits
13:24 Reveal, make invisible
15:34 An impossible conversation with her time
17:38 From organic abstraction to 'queer povera'
21:08 Painting without painting. Well-defined but vulnerable organisms.
22:52 Back to figuration. I am the mad cow
26:11 The camera obscura
27:05 The attack of subaltern knowledge. Rethinking modernity