Diana Matar often spends years on a project to capture the invisible traces of human history and query what role aesthetics might play in the depiction of power. She will discuss photography’s ability to engage with the past as well as her most recent photographic series, Tête-à-tête (2019), with Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums.
Tête-à-tête was made during a residency at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, where Matar focused on the collection of Greek and Roman sculptures. ‘Through the lens, I saw personalities displaying unique psychologies and imperfections: individuals with scars, physical deformities, emotional complexities and vulnerabilities. I saw the man on the street corner, the woman in the shop, the boy who had left his family to cross the sea. Face to face, these ancient and animated human likenesses seemed poignant and of our time. The longer I spent with the collection, the more I found that, even though the sculptures were made of stone, they were alive and dynamic; that if one attended to them, they responded’. – Diana Matar
Tête-à-tête is presented for the first time at Photo London Digital by Purdy Hicks.