Galleria Lia Rumma presents Tell Me Something About You, the fourth solo exhibition of works by Tobias Zielony.
The show Tell me something about you looks at the possibilities and the limitations in creating narratives with still and animated images.
On the ground floor of the gallery, the Jenny Jenny project, consisting of a video, Der Brief, and a selection of eighteen photographs, will be shown for the first time in Italy. The work, which was made in Berlin, portrays young women, some of whom earn a living as prostitutes. Zielony investigates everyday life and the behaviour of young people in contemporary society. He does so by depicting personal stories, focusing his lens on the individuality of his sitters, describing how they relate to the space around them, and taking an interest in their anxieties and problems.
The same artistic vein can also be seen in the serie of photographs, Manitoba, on display on the first floor of the gallery. In Manitoba, Zielony shows the lives of members of a teenage gang originally from the First Nations (the autochthonous people of present-day Canada) in the suburbs of Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba. As in previous projects, the artist maintains the techniques derived from photojournalism, but he also makes use of a number of pictorial genres, not only making portraits or group photos in which we see the gang members posing, but also views of the architectural and natural landscapes of Winnipeg. As well as the globalised tastes and customs of his sitters, what mainly interests the artist are the stories of individuals in their socio-economic environments. As part of the Manitoba work Zielony shows a sound piece based on text by Andrea Hiott, realized for the catalogue “Manitoba”, about the notorious residential school system in Canada, in which aboriginal children were taken away from their parents and culturally “re-educated” to lose their native identity.
The exhibition ends on the second floor, where the artist has chosen to bring about an interaction between two video projects – Big Sexyland of 2008 and The Street (Rome) of 2013. Big Sexyland is a screening of 80 slides made in Berlin, showing kids from the East in a porn cinema and in a nearby park. Many of them are on the first leg of a journey towards the West, which they know only from television and blockbusters from Hollywood, a land of promise and individual freedom. The Street (Rome), on the other hand, shows some young people from Bangladesh in a reception centre in the suburbs of Rome, after an adventurous and often costly and dangerous journey to Italy: the first step in their search for a job and a new identity, in a tough social and legal setting.