Personal Belongings

Maria Di Stefano

15.12.23 - 28.01.24

Press release    //    Installation View    //    Works    //    BIO

"Somewhere our belonging particles. Believe in us. If we could only find them " WS Graham
“a kind of nausea or intellectual vertigo produced by the inhuman acceleration of historical change that has characterized modernity. It is the very impossibility of satisfying our need for belonging – a need manifest in the constant search for the unfamiliar, whether in ourselves or the other ” Susan Sontag, The Anthropology as Hero, 1963

Maria Di Stefano is interested in the idea of identity and belonging to a group or place. To her, photography is a method of research. Participating in reality rather than simply capturing it is important for her work and her ethics.
There are no journalistic scandal, no big gesture. Instead she aims to tell a story that is more intimate and private in the home space that revolves around the daily routine.

She has focused her attention on autochthonous communities and how modernization is impacting their lifestyle. After working and living with the Kali’na Indians of the Amazon, the Sami peoples of the Arctic regions of Northern Europe, the Zapotecos of Oaxaca in Mexico, and the Koguis in Colombia, she decided to come home, “If we could only find it” . PB is a project that merges images from the family archive with photographs taken worldwide over a seven-year period (2015-2023). It starts with the notions of mother and home and analyzes them in a literal, metaphorical, and mythological manner.

The archival photos depict her mother as the main protagonist, since childhood she was upset by the camera, hiding, and scared. She has been able to cut herself or others out of the photos, literally. What remains are suggestive absences, rather than presences, the reproduction of forgotten elements, and residual images.
The work serves as a metaphor for a void and the need to fill it, wandering around remote areas searching for our 'belonging particles'.
Human figure is out of focus, not perceived as coherent unit but rather as pieces of identities that are not fixed.
The family archive is associated with its opposite: drifting away and rejecting the land, the values given, the established order, and the birthplace.

The intimate space is confused with the theatrical scene as the casual with the staged. We are witnesses of the story and not of fact that it is occurring, the events are faded but the memory of an image is more powerful than the image itself. What is offered to the spectators is an anti Cartier Bresson spontaneity, an invitation-intrusion in a parallel, barely alive and grotesque universe.



MARIA DI STEFANO is an Italian multimedia artist. After completing a degree in Art History at the Sorbonne in Paris and a master's degree in Fine Art at the UCA in Canterbury, she moved to the United States to work as Richard Kern's assistant photographer in New York and as Artist in Residence at Esmoa in Los Angeles.

In 2021, her project "This is Us" won the Lazio Contemporaneo grant dedicated to young artists in Rome. She has won the 2022 Italian Council award promoted by the Italian Ministry of Culture allowing her to continue her work in Paris. The artist also recently received a research grant from the University of Paris VIII.

Among the exhibitions in which she participated: Nordic Light Festival of Photography, Kristiansund (2023); THIS IS US, The Room, Paris (2023); SHE DEVIL, BIENALSUR 2023, MUNTREF Artes Visuales, Buenos Aires (2023); THIS IS US, MZIN, Lipsia (2023); Complessità. Sostantivo plurale, MLAC, Rome (2023); THIS IS US, traveling exhibitions on billboards along Tram line 19, Rome (2021); Babies Are Knocking, STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI, Rome (2021); Digitalive - Romaeuropa Festival, Mattatoio, Rome (2019); Poesia e destino, La fortuna italiana di Werther, Casa di Goethe, Rome (2019); SHE DEVIL X, STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI, Rome (2018); Meet Me Under Water, One Room, Rome (2018); Entertainment, Una Vetrina - The Indipendent MAXXI, Rome (2018); No Human Traces, Avenue 50, Los Angeles (2017).

The exhibition is kindle supported by:


Installation view by: KUNSTDOK // Tor S. Ulstein



20x30cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 9.400 NOK
Lorena, Sorrento, 2019
10x15cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 4.800 NOK
Morris, Indian Peaks, Usa, 2017
40x60cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 17.000 NOK
Alex's Cat, Denver, USA, 2016
40x60cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 17.000 NOK
Cosima, Vancouver, Canada, 2016
20x30cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 9.400 NOK
Reflechtion of a photo in a mirror, Crete, Greece, 2021
40x60cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 17.000 NOK
Where I was Born, Italy, 2016
10x15cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 4.800 NOK
Maria, Tagliacozzo, Italy, 2015
20x30cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 9.400 NOK
Reflection of two girls and a woman on the stairs, Shibuya, Japan, 2023
20x30cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 9.400 NOK
Emily, Yonkers, USA, 2016
20x30cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 9.400 NOK
Hand with green nailpolish above Bogota, Colombia, 2022
20x30cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 9.400 NOK
Two women under a towel, Parque de Tayrona, Colombia, 2022
10x15cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 4.800 NOK
Bria, Roma, Italy, 2020
15x10cm, Ed of 5 + AP // 4.800 NOK
Man on a ladder, Kyoto, Japan, 2023

Fotogalleri Vasli Souza
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Opening hours:
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Saturday – Sunday:
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The gallery is kindly supported by:
Tor S. Ulstein :)

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