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Ritty Tacsum, one of Malta’s most promising young photographers, launched her much awaited project titled “Four Rooms” on the third week of October. I had the honour to meet the artist herself and ask her a few questions, but let me give you a quick overview first.

While I was looking at the photographs, several things were running through my head, including “Provocative”, “Thought Provoking” and “Beautifully composed”.

The exhibition, as promised in the title I featured throughout all for rooms of the upper galleries and every room has its own feel, its own atmosphere.
The first room presented MY SKIN – a walk-in closet full of clothes spilling out of it and when you walk in you find elegant photographs in black and white of beautiful nudes mostly with blurred or obscured faces. The lighting is impeccable and a lot of earthy textures are present in the background. On the outside of the closet we have 2 large digital prints of a naked torso, obscured neck and face. What’s interesting about these prints is that they are set in a way that they look like a collage of tangible fabric textures.

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Another room is in MY BODY – portraits of models with concealed faces in various state of undress as well as a set of smaller prints of models photographed under water. This room is definitely not for the faint hearted, but you can feel the thought and work that went behind these photographs, was not to shock but to raise a certain awareness of how beautiful the human body is and the different dimensions with its “rooms”.
The next room was in MY MIND – this room is characterized by two kaleidoscopic reflectors in a dark room. Colours danced all over the room and on the opposite wall there was an installation in a form of a spiral made up of tissue boxes. As the artist said herself the four rooms are not necessarily connected but this room was quite a vision.

And last but not least, probably the room I enjoyed the most, in MY HEART – here you have an ode to Maltese landscapes and the religious tradition that some of us have at heart. You also have epitaphs to couples in the throes of love making with dirty soles on a very old floor. A few prints representing, what I felt was, a vision of loneliness and the dark fog that descends with depression. The pivotal art piece in this room is the beautiful and imposing digital print of the Holy Mary transferred on a sideways view of a Valetta landscape.

As you can hopefully see I was very much taken by this exhibition. So let’s see what Ritty had to say to a few questions I asked her:

Maria: What was the initial inspiration and concept behind the exhibition? What did you want to convey?

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Ritty: The initial inspiration was a movie by Jaco van Dormael, ‘Mr Nobody’. Four Rooms is a project about human relationships and the very many strata that makes us whole; it aims to present the layered and developmental process in the formation of those same relationships. Through this project I wanted to show that there’s more to a person than just a nice face or an expensive shirt. There are other ‘rooms’ that one needs to explore.

M: A prominent feature was the digitally manipulated picture of the Virgin Mary over the Valletta landscape – everyone was commenting how beautiful it was. We saw a lot of iconography of the Virgin Mary in the last room – is there a special significance? and if so what is it?

R: I’ve been brought up in a very religious family and even though I’m not religious myself, I’ve always been fascinated with my mum’s religious shrines.
Ritty Tacsum has also since been invited to the MoCA Taipei to exhibit for two weeks.

If you’re interested kindly visit http://www.rittytacsum.com/fourrooms for a good look at the work.

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