“The work of Rä di Martino often deals with the duality between reality and fiction. The artist’s background in theatre and her passion for film emerge in her video work, which is often cinematographic in theme and experimental in nature. However, for some of her most recent works, she has switched medium from video to photography, exploring a different kind of imagery. Enticed by abandoned Hollywood sets in North Africa, di Martino’s travels in Morocco and Tunisia resulted in a profound engagement with these contemporary ruins. Ranging from basic dwellings to elaborate temples, these sets formed part of the fictional habitat of film characters, today however their ruins appear to substantiate the history of inhabitants that never existed.
Gazing at the remains of the familiar Star Wars set in her series ‘Every World is a Stage’ triggers a sense of mild discomfort, as the delusionary power of the human imagination is realised. A film that has been capable of projecting us into the distant future has ironically left behind ruins that look as ancient as any imperial palace or historical edifice. Only by coming closer, and knocking on the structures’ walls, does the onlooker realise that these walls are made of plywood and plaster. Born in Rome and residing in Turin, New York and London, di Martino’s interest in Luke Skywalker’s house, portrayed in the series ‘No More Stars (Star Wars)’, currently shown in the Tate Modern’s exhibition ‘Ruins in Reverse’, is born of the artist’s longing for a home of her own.” — Sumarrialunn