Descrizione Opera / Biografia
SUBLIMINAL CONDITIONING is one of the most enigmatic works of Italian painter Romina Bassu, the scene is set in what looks like a treatment room, or a parlor, where two characters are standing — one man wearing a sweater and a woman with an elaborate hairdo wearing a uniform, assisting the man in his work of conditioning — and another woman laying on a chair, holding a small tub as at the dentist, and something, like a scarf, a bandana, wrapped around her head. The faces are stained, the nose of the man and the tips of his fingers; his assistant too has a bluish blotted face, as if the color blue were some kind of contagious malady, the symptom of a ‘condition’ that needs to be treated. All face of the laying woman is blue, her eyes too are tainted, possibly infected by the bluish substance in the tub. Or maybe the tub contains some sort of cleansing balm to remove the daily grime and pollutant that makes this conditioning so imperative. The man is almost immune, only the tip of his nose is polluted, he is the agent of the treatment, he does not wear a uniform, he is not a doctor, or a dentist. Just a man, a key role in Romina Bassu’s narratives of sexual and social conditioning, where women are consistently treated within highly gendered social contexts, they adhere to treatment regimens envisioned by their masculine counterparts. Women, in Romina Bassu’s pictorial narrative, are stripped of their humanity, forced into novel, and somewhat pleasing, social identities. These early people — men and women — are immersed in the social and aesthetic milieus of the 1950s, milieus where people socialized by experimenting for the first time their role as consumers, mass-bourgeois, anonymous, urban people. Where for the first time, new codes and registers, new roles and social mores were invented in a male-dominated, typically western, world. The cultural genealogy of Romina Bassu finds in this peculiar aesthetics the origins, and foundation, of a durable model of sociability. And her oeuvre is an attempt, per images, to deconstruct a pervasive social mythology.
Romina Bassu was born in 1982 in Rome, where she currently lives and works. She studied between the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome and the Faculty of Fine Arts of Seville. After a few years she moves to London where she starts the series ”I’m stressed out” that will be later closed in Berlin with a solo exhibition. After moving to Spain she takes on a new project ”Archivo anonimo”, which comes to life from a meticulous research of antique photos, evocative of long-gone times. With her work, the artist tries to catch the sense of time flowing on individuals, erasing them or transforming them into nostalgic figures. In such perspective, she wants to create an ”individual mythology”, yet universal, so that anyone could identify with it. Latest exhibitions: Promises / Solo show, Galleria Marcolini Forli’; Social utopia / Studi aperti, XII edizione, Ameno; Bubbles between lines, ZAION Gallery, Biella; Isoipse / Progetto COLLA, Galleria Moitre, Torino; Carte Blanche, Galerie Olivier Nouvellet, Parigi; Artefiera 2016, Bologna; Group psychology (and the analysis of the ego), Galleria Marcolini, Forlì; Camera doppia #1, XXS/aperto al contemporaneo, Palermo; Book Art Project, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Roma; Premio Francesco Fabbri per le Arti Contemporanee 2015, Villa Brandolini, Treviso; ArtVerona 2015; Mnemosyne, Meb arte studio, Novara.