Martina Amati

26 October – 1 December 2019

TALK & FILM SCREENING: with an introduction by Martina Amati: Saturday 26 October


Messums Wiltshire is pleased to announce a major new solo exhibition of director-producer Martina Amati’s immersive video installation Under (2015), as part of our forthcoming show MOVING IMAGE exhibition (26 October – 01 December 2019). Come along on the Saturday morning as the exhibition opens to the public for a screening of the film with an introduction by Martina.

Under is an eleven-minute installation comprised of two separate looped video projections, with each film named after a quantitate means of measuring free-diving ability: Distance and Depth. Underwater cinematographer Daan Verhoeven captured Amati’s subaquatic performance, shooting every scene on a single, non-assisted breath of air.

With its vivid blue colouration and lens flares nostalgically evoking the primeval sun, Amati’s film tantalisingly visualises the human origin story—Charles Darwin’s initially outrageous idea that all life began in the sea. The two films will command the barn in its entirety, with with Distance shown on a large screen at the far end of the space and Depth projected onto a custom built ‘diving platform’ suspended from the roof and floating above people’s heads. Amati’s accompanying documentary of the same name, one that explores the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of this extreme sport, will also be on show. The documentary, for which she worked with Professor Kevin Fong, features interviews with masters of free-diving including world record holder Enzo Maiorca, who was the inspiration for Luc Besson’s ‘The Big Blue’, as well as scientists who research the effects of free-diving on the apparatus of the human body.

“It’s an entrancing experience. Martina Amati sweeps you away into the mysterious realm of freediver in her mesmerising multiscreen installation ‘Under’. Here is a beguiling world: dreamy and dangerous, disconcerting and seductive, alluring and yet frightening all at once.” Rachel Campbell-Johnston —The Times

Martina Amati is an Italian BAFTA-winning filmmaker and artist. With her short films Amati has won a UNICEF AWARD (A’Mare), a BAFTA in 2010 (I Do Air) and another BAFTA nomination in 2012 for Chalk, which also won a BIFA (British Independent Film Award), along side several other international awards.