The Illusory Portraits of Africa
I am Carla Geronimi, a Franco-Swiss-Argentinian artist based in London. My practice is multi-disciplinary and uses a wide range of mediums from moving image, performance, collage, to sound. My works all aim to create worlds of imaginary places, fictional stories and creature-like characters such as puppets, masks or inanimate objects. I am strongly influenced by Surrealism and explore similar themes such as dreams, identity and memory, with a constant interest in anthropology and psychology. I like to question those ideas with the use of non-coherent story lines, symbolism and absurd narratives with a desire to evoke, to suggest and to stimulate imagination to better understand reality.
My works have been showcased in various places around the world, such as Dar Diwani in Mozambique, Marienbad Film Festival in Czech Republic, Gallery 46 and Iklectik Arts Lab in London. My pieces were also broadcast for three consecutive years on Resonance Extra Radio for International Women’s Day 2018, 2019 and 2020. After a BA (Hons) in Sound Arts & Design at London College of Communication (UAL), I am currently starting a MA in Fine Arts at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London.
In “The Illusory Portraits of Africa”, I brought together twelve hand-made collages of diverse traditional African sculptures and masks incorporated into various landscapes of the African continent. By taking these characters out of their context and integrating them into other sceneries, I wanted to create new narratives that would give a voice and an identity to inanimate objects. By playing with scales and colours, my goal was to create absurd worlds that would merge reality and fantasy, exploring themes of uncanniness, mysticism and spirituality. This collage series portrays a wide spectrum of African figures and masks from Angola, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Niger and Nigeria. The background landscapes range from Botswana, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia to South Africa.