Catherine Biocca


17 June - 10 July 2021


The work of Catherine Biocca consists of different two-, three- and four dimensional-elements, bits of video, audio, sculptural elements and drawing. Together they form a sort of odd theatrical stage, on which handmade objects, moving images and digital surfaces interact with each other through motion, sound and content.


During the Amsterdam Art Week, Catherine Biocca will make her debut with Stigter Van Doesburg. The title of the exhibition SOBSOBSOBSOBSOB refers to the typical crying sound phonetics used in comics, but also addresses the phenomenon of praeficae figures, who performed professional mourning at funerals and cremations. This has been banned in Europe since the 1980s, but in countries such as Spain and Italy it was a respected profession for centuries. Biocca has turned this old-fashioned wailing into a contemporary version, complete with other forms of grief such as wolf howls and crocodile tears.


The exhibition is a kind of a cappella concert with human/wolf howls and three ladies singing an ode to assistance and empathy; the audience being a group of lamps with anthropomorphic features staring into space.

The sound installation contains elements from interviews with former professional mourners, which Biocca has transformed into a kind of traditional choir with her own voice.


She has used the postures that the women used to take, but the protagonists look completely different. More often she got her figures and personal details from Japanese Manga and vague internet sites; the t-shirts with faces; eyes instead of breasts, a mouth instead of a navel. Like a number of paintings made on fabric for Italian tailor-made suits, they witness and participate in a mourning gathering. The mourners wave air to each other with the white handkerchiefs, the crates refer to peasant life in the south of Italy. It is not clear for whom or what is mourned, maybe for the usage of young female elements in cheap fashion, maybe for a missing consideration about ready mades in our everyday life, maybe for a common loss, but parallels to this time are almost inevitable. A grieving process for the past year…


Despite the subjects, Catherine Biocca's work always has something light and absurd. Cartoon-like imagery and science fiction, internet paraphernalia – in Catherine Biocca's multimedia installations you are surrounded by video animations, distorted voices and bizarre objects. At first glance it seems cheerful nonsense, but the longer you look and listen, the images take on a disturbing side.