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Winter at Grazer Kunstverein

Bianca Baldi
4 December 2020 – 19 February 2021

Image courtesy of Bianca Baldi.

In sociology ‘passing’ refers to the ability of a person to be regarded as a member of an identity group or category different from their own, which may include racial identity, ethnicity, caste, social class, sexual orientation, gender, religion age and /or disability status. Casting her lens out to the animal kingdom, Baldi looks to examples of creatures who use the mutability of their skin pigment as a method of passing, for the explicit purpose of self-preservation. To explore the phenomenon of Versipellis (one who changes skin) Baldi presents the cuttlefish as a chameleon like creature, and the source of sepia (a pigment often used in photography in the context of archiving). Combining personal stories and literary characters, a study of radical transgressions, camouflage and survival, Baldi draws on historial and zoomorphic research to present a compelling meditation on perception, embodiment, self-presentation, and the aesthetic thresholds of identity.

Bianca Baldi (born 1985) lives and works in Brussels. In her films, installations, photographs and images she addresses hidden infrastructures and narratives of power evoking the histories of film, studio photography and trompe-l’œil. She positions carefully chosen objects and images revealing complex webs of political, economic and cultural influences. Baldi obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 2007 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa and completed her studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. Her work has been featured in large international exhibitions such as the 11th African Biennial of Photography (Bamako), the 11th Shanghai Biennale, the 8th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art and group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bern, Netwerk Aalst, Extra City Kunsthal Antwerp, Kunstverein Braunschweig and Kunstverein Frankfurt. Recent solo exhibitions include Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Pure Breaths at Swimming Pool in Sofia and Play White at the BIC Projects Space Casablanca in 2020.