In her research-based practice, Annie Ratti explores the complexities of human experience and relations, lesser-known scientific studies, as well as the interdependence of nature and humankind.Read More
Annie Ratti studied etching at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, before attending the Whitney Studio Program in New York City for a year.
Often beginning with personal experiences or events, Ratti works across photography, installation, video, sculptures and artist's books.
Among Ratti's ongoing interests is the work of Wilhelm Reich—a 20th-century Austrian psychoanalyst who controversially advocated for free love—who the artist first encountered when she was a teenager. Her wearable sculptures, such as those exhibited in her solo show ANARGONIA at London's Amanda Wilkinson Gallery in 2019, derive from Reich's diagrams and devices.
The large-scale Kimonos (2017), for example, fabricated from various organic materials, are Ratti's adaptation of an orgone accumulator—modified closets or cages that Reich devised to capture so-called 'orgone energy'. According to Reich, orgone energy could be released through orgasms with the effect of improving health. Ratti's kimonos reflect the orgone accumulator by enveloping the human body, surrounding it with organic materials, and momentarily slowing it down in the contemporary world of fast consumption.
Ratti's extensive research includes her examination of species that have developed a close relationship with humankind. The psilocybin mushroom, more commonly known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, is central to her 'mushroom project', which saw the artist learning to grow them. Published as an artist's book in 2014, The Mushroom Project includes illustrations and photographic images of the mushrooms arranged into sculptural form.
Bombyx mori, the artist's 2021–22 solo exhibition at Amanda Wilkinson Gallery in London, revolves around her research into the Bombyx mori or the domestic silk moth, whose domestication traces back to ancient China. Ratti's installations examine the interdependence of silkworms and humans, each providing the other with means of survival, by focusing on the life of the insect from its birth to death. Silk moth antennae (2021), a wearable sculpture in the form of a human-sized fencing mask with enlarged moth antennae, even imagines the two combined, alluding to their coexistence for the past few thousand years of human civilisation.
Annie Ratti has been exhibiting since the early 1980s, showing her works in international galleries and institutions.
Select solo exhibitions include Bombyx mori, Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (2021-22); Reich Night, SET, London (2018); Lallazioni (with Bruna Esposito), Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome (2015); The Shroom Project, Vleeshal, Middelburg, The Netherlands (2013); Image of September, Gallery Sejul, Seoul (2010).
Select group exhibitions include Mushrooms: The art, design and future of fungi, Somerset House, London (2020); Orgonomics, Garage Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2019); Entropic Threads, The Koppel Project, London (2018); Self: Portraits of Artists in Their Absence, National Academy Museum, New York (2015); Nell'acqua capisco, Procuratie Vecchie, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Incontro D/A/C denominazione artistica condivisa, MACRO, Rome (2013); In Praise of Simplicity, Fondazione Stelline, Milan (2010).
Annie Ratti's Instagram can be found here.
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021