Bianca Baldi, "Versipellis"
26 JAN - 04 FEB 2018
Developed out of her long term-research project Zero Latitude (2012 – present), Bianca Baldi’s exhibition takes the colonial archive of Museum for Central Africa Tervuren as a point of departure. After reading the personal diaries of colonial explorer Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) at the museum’s archive, she developed a corpus of worksthat question imperial imagery and their persistence by revealing their seductive potential. In Versipellis Baldi restages historical documents and collections, setting the objects and images in scene as indices.
By interweaving personal experience with collective history, the exhibition can be seen as both a seduction and a warning at the same time, as the title of the show Versipellis indicates: The term stands for the adaptive quality to change one’s skin, as known from shape-shifting creatures eluding their enemies by blending into their new habitat.
With an awareness of photography as a tool of modernity and simultaneously a medium of truth and of artifice, Bianca Baldi’s artistic work shows how power structures work invisibly and how artistic work can point to this. The artist sets the elements in play and develops an aesthetic to describe complex historical, political and economic entanglements.