POMO Galerie

via Giuseppe Sirtori, 6 — 20129 Milano

SEARCHING FOR RAMYA

PETRA STAVAST

Curated by Saul Marcadent

20.02.2015 — 13.03.2015
OPENING Thursday 19th FEBRUARY 2015 — 18:30

POMO Galerie and Saul Marcadent have the pleasure to present “Searching for Ramya”, a visual story of the dutch artist Petra Stavast.

In 2001 Petra moved to Amsterdam and rented a room. She immediately set a special relation with Ramya, her landlady. She began to observe and take pictures of her in various situations and instants of the day; she shot the objects, the places and the apartment itself. Their relationship is filter through the lenses and the result is a sequence of sober and intimate images.

Eleven years later, in 2012, Ramya died and Petra got the fortune to access to the lady’s private archive. Here she discovered her fascinating past and a series of shots taken by a close neighbour which portrayed her. Those new traces fed the curiosity and the look of the artist which kept on investigating. Petra Stavast was able to rebuild a period in which Ramya entered the Rajneeshpuram commune, set up by Bhagwan (Osho) adepts which last from 1981 to 1985 in the Oregon desert, United States. It’s in that period and in that utopian reality – of which only a trace of the main path remains today – where she received her new baptismal name: Ramya. When the Rajneeshpuram experience ended, the lady got back to Amsterdam and began to attend a new guru. Petra traced and gave new shape and light to artefacts of the time such as VHS of the auto-visualisation courses and an handwritten list of the wishes to express during spiritual exercises.

Through produced and found materials since 2001 till today – pictures, videos, drawings, signed notes – Petra Stavast has been documenting with extreme care and devotion the life of Ramya, rewriting and commenting, tiptoeing, her biography.

The exhibition is associated with the book “Ramya”, published by Petra Stavast in 2014 and rediscussed by POMO Galerie with curator Saul Marcadent.

PETRA STAVAST is a visual artist which experiments with various languages: photography, video and writing. In her publications China/S75 (Roma Publications, 2008), Libero (Roma Publications, 2009) and Ramya (Fw:Books and Roma Publications, 2014) she gather fragments of a research transforming them into fascinating visual stories. her work has been presented in public and private institutions, foundations, galleries and international festivals such as Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Fondazione Giuliani (Rome), CAMeC (La Spezia), Dutch Fotomuseum (Rotterdam).

SAUL MARCADENT is a curator and independent critic. He collaborates with non-profit associations and public and private institutions. Since 2014 he has been carrying on a PhD in “Science of Design – Fashion Design” at the IUAV university of Venice with a research on contemporary editorial production.