Alex Martinis Roe: ‘Once I wrote the story of her life, because by then I knew it by heart’

‘Once I wrote the story of her life, because by then I knew it by heart’
an exhibition by Alex Martinis Roe
opening on Saturday the 4th of October ~ 6 to 9 pm ~

The title of this exhibition refers to the ember of a friendship, the one between two women called Amalia and Emilia.  While living around Milan in the 70s they attended ‘La Scuola delle 150 ore’, an education program of arts and science for workers and housewives, where they engaged in a series of writing exercises. Emilia had a strong urge to tell the story of her ordinary life, yet she couldn’t express herself in linear articulated language. It was Amalia, who being confronted with the multiple attempts of her friend decided to write down Emilia’s life as a gift to her.  Emilia would then carry ‘her’ biography in her handbag and ‘read it again and again’. The small narration written by Amalia is at once hers as it is Emilia’s.
It is between these empathic oscillations of the self and the other that the works of Alex Martinis Roe operate. Like a quantum physicist, the artist looks into the short-lived entities that come in and out of existence so quickly that they are not clearly detected by history. It is perhaps inevitable that feminist readings and stories stand at the core of Martinis Roe’s interest. It is the human encounters, the conversations, the empathic entrustments and the lapses of language that she is interested in.
In her work Alex Martinis Roe enters the history of art and of thought as a house where a family of characters from different temporalities and different geographies meet each other at unexpected and performative moments. An older painting, a letter, a conversation that happened between two persons in a bookshop, come into life as their indeterminate existence is projected in the future.
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Alex Martinis Roe (b.1982 Melbourne) is an artist living in Berlin. She completed her PhD in Fine Art at Monash University Australia in 2010. Recent exhibitions/events include: Affirmative Practices, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (solo, 2014); Making Room: Spaces of Anticipation, ar/ge Kunst Galerie Museum, Bolzano (2014); A story from Circolo della rosa, Archive Kabinett, Berlin (solo, 2014)

This year, Alex Martinis Roe continues her work on connected genealogies of feminist practice with a new performance, commissioned by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory (Utrecht) in collaboration with If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam), which will take place on the 3rd December 2014 in Utrecht, NL.
image: Alex Martinis Roe, A story from Circolo della rosa, video still of a photograph found in the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective's archive, 2014.
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