appropriation, copy, reinterpretation, plagiary, remix, reproduction

accumulation, archive, wunderkammer, database, cabinet of curiosities, encyclopedia

disclosure, reprint, multiplication, republishing, replication, fac-simile

destruction, deletion, burning, damage, programmed obsolescence, hidden


Carla Rak’s Collage #1 deals with the appropriation of existing materials and provides them a new context, connecting them with the crochet technique. Like other manual techniques, this is based on a constant repetition of a limited set of gestures. Repetition is a founding mechanism in many rituals, facilitating abstraction and meditation. During the obsessive and repetitive act of crochet, hand movements are combined with a more hidden and secret mental activity, expressed by a picture-in-picture video. The intimate and silent world of manual labour clashes with partially blacked-out footage of hunting and space. This depiction of violence and infinity questions our understanding of the bigger picture, and suggests to focus instead on comforting, familiar gestures, such as the crochet itself. The audio track, from the 1974 movie Un homme qui dort, stresses the importance of the repetitive practice as a pondering act.

Carla Rak lives and works in Rome, Italy, where she was born in 1978.

After many years spent as photoeditor in a big Italian photojournalistic agency, since 2011 works as a freelance editor, consultant and teacher.

In 2012 she started also developing her own artistic career, working with different media, mainly collages, photography, writing and video. Obsessed with images, Carla is often interested in exploring their nature and boundaries, in playing with their ambiguity and with the transformation of their meanings through time and contexts, enacting different processes to liberate pictures from their solidified history. Her work is often strictly connected with collecting: already existing images are the raw material to question the status of the photographic image and the starting point to stage for them a new atmosphere, chasing in all her projects the unreal, the mistery, the hybrid, the unclear. With a degree in Sociology and a PhD in Communication Sciences, her academic writings on photography gained the recognition of the Institute of Philosophical Studies in Naples and the Cozzi Award from the Benetton Foundation.


Work and life diary