Artists are the philosophers of the future. Not like the philosophers of the past who no one could understand. But an enlightened philosophy of spiritual realities. Giulia Mattera is one such enlightened philosopher, reflecting in her performance actions a lost spirituality that we are all trying to uncover.
Freeflowingvisuals has long questioned the possibility of Nature being interested in the survival of Human kind. As if we were children of nature and mother nature had a maternal instinct for us. But perhaps we are personifying nature with these qualities and that we only have ourselves to manage our own survival.
"Severing Tide" is about working intuitively with Nature - if you find yourself in a freezing cold environment, the human body works with the natural forces, (the glacial stream) to maintain body heat. This is the intuitive logic that Giulia uses to co-exist in nature. In this performance Giulia walks back and forth for over an hour, maintaining sufficient body heat to withstand the freezing mountain stream. Within this dramatic situation an audience share the whole experience - walking for one hour at 3am, (on the morning of the Summer Solstice), through the Italian Alps to reach the performance site at the break of dawn. The audience are observers only, sharing the experience of the human body at its psychophysical limits on this Solstice morning.
"Seeing youRself sensING" is also an extreme landscape, a temporary Artist community called Arteles, coinciding with the Spring Equinox and full moon. Proceeded by 18 days of silence, this site-specific performance engaged directly with participants on this special day of the Equinox.
Giulia calls this performance a ritual of acceptance and emancipation. Participants walk through the snow, in silence, following 27 ribbons tied to tree trunks, to a final destination - the roots of a fallen tree, where she has placed herself inside, awaiting for their arrival. Each participant had previously been asked to write on a piece paper their own personal denied feelings and to bring this with them to the final destination. The paper is then scrunched and burnt in the snow. This was a silent performance and no communication other than the written instructions.
"Emotional Labour" deals less with the cosmic cycles of nature and more with human emotion. Although, coexistence with nature is represented within the performance. This is a staged performance where the audience is aware that they can participate at any time during the 150 minute duration.
The dramatic nature of the work needs explanation. Within the gallery space, Giulia co-habits with an albine axolot, (endangered aquatic salamander). By doing this, she puts her body to the risk of toxic chemicals released by the axolotl touching other animals. The audience as well, can choose to approach Giulia and hold her extended arm - giving warmth to her naked body, thus diverting this probable fate. In performance actions like this, with its strategic detail and precarious participation, Giulia is able to act as a true reflector of human predicament.
Unlike the philosophers of the past, with their intellectualising, Giulia has the ability to bring body and soul together, putting us face to face with spiritual realities.