The Platform series provides a focussed space of exploration for artists to engage with current cultural and socio-political issues. To align with the core principles of the exhibition programme, 10% of all sales proceeds from each Platform show will be donated to a charity of the artist’s choosing. For their solo exhibition, Vetere has nominated Marevivo, an NGO that has worked to protect the sea and its resources for the past 35 years. Marevivo strives towards biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, fighting against pollution and illegal fishing and promoting environmental education in schools and universities.
Vetere’s Platform exhibition is a continuation of the artist’s frequent interaction with water, reflecting on the connections between the human body and the environment. The show presents six new ceramic sculptures and four limited-edition photographs, conceived in the artist’s studio in Rome. Vetere’s practice engages with performance and sculpture in order to explore notions of ‘embodiment’ and delve into the idea of being ‘human’. Vetere’s work underlines a broader beyond-human narrative that largely rejects the idea that the human being is the ultimate source of value on earth. In this way, the artist invites us to explore the potential of our own bodies as other, highlighting that the human body is innately linked to nature. Two of the limited-edition photographs presented in the exhibition are images of Vetere’s performance pieces: Portrait of the Homo Aquaticus (2018) and Sometimes I think I should be more like a fish (2020). These performances question what it means to be human by placing the body in seemingly unusual environments. However, these installations equally emphasise the notion that we are bound to our natural surroundings.
For Vetere, the sea is a crucial source of inspiration, representing a space in which our bodies could become other. The sea itself remains a mysterious realm where the limits of human capability are severely tested. Drawing from the unknowability of the sea and its constant variations, Vetere’s sculptures are born from an imagined seascape. They manifest as undiscovered and vibrantly coloured marine organisms that teem with life. In the context of a world where industrialised fishing, deep sea mining and trawling are decimating underwater habitats, the artist asks if we can extend our compassion and concern to the deep sea and the creatures there that have yet to be discovered.