Portrait of Rebecca Moccia. Photo by Stefano Colonna.

Rebecca Moccia's Ministry of Loneliness

Research project examines the emotional states of loneliness and its politicization

Italian transdisciplinary artist Rebecca Moccia’s research encompasses different geographical contexts, exploring the emotional states of loneliness and its politicization, starting from the common experience of isolation and dissolution of daily life experienced during the pandemic, and expanding at the structural causes on loneliness.

During the month of August, Rebecca Moccia conducted a portion of her research at Magazzino. For two weekends, August 5, 6, & 7, and August 12, 13, & 14, 2022, the artist will conduct public research sessions, inviting guests to contribute to her research project, as well as the opportunity to reflect on their own relationship to loneliness, by completing a short, questionnaire based on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a survey developed by the University of California in 1978 to assess the level of loneliness of a particular subject, then manipulated by the artist.

Rebecca Moccia, Ministry of Loneliness: Premise, exhibition views at Jupiter Woods, London, 2022
Rebecca Moccia, Ministry of Loneliness: Premise, exhibition views at Jupiter Woods, London, 2022.

Similar public research sessions are being conducted internationally, in accordance with the international focus of the artist's project, in locations such as London, Munich, Tokyo, and Milan. Participation was voluntary and happened during the museum's opening hours, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All contributions were anonymous.

Her research project, Ministry of Loneliness, currently explores our relationship with loneliness and pain heightened by the common experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research project, developed in collaboration with Outset England, Jupiter Woods, Italian Embassy in Tokyo, and ICA Milan, was awarded the Italian Council X grant for the artists’ international research issued by the Italian Ministry of Culture (DGCC).

The project starts practically and symbolically from the Ministry of Loneliness in the United Kingdom, a ministry appointed in 2018 to tackle social and health problems related to loneliness, and replicated in Canada and Japan in 2021 to battle the increasing suicide rates aggravated by social isolation and the pandemic crisis. By visiting the parliamentary archives, investigating scientific and fictional literature addressing loneliness, collecting personal testimonies, and participating in several groups and initiatives currently combating loneliness at various social and political levels, Rebecca Moccia has been gathering research on the subject since February 2022. The research project will culminate in a publication and exhibition at ICA Milan in 2023.

About the artist

Rebecca Moccia (b. 1992) is an Italian trans-disciplinary artist. Her practice explores the materiality of perceptive and emotional states that can emerge from specific social and spatial characteristics. She realizes installations with different media described as “medial atmospheres” that surround the bodies, but also that traverse and interacts with them. Creating situations that are placed in socio-cultural and psycho-physical contexts including specific temporal elements such as the temperature, seasonality, and past, Rebecca Moccia's critical research investigates the neoliberal regime of visibility and the processes of anesthetization, delocalization, and privatization of the sensitive presence. 

Rebecca Moccia's works have been exhibited at Jupiter Woods (London), the Italian Cultural Institute (Brussels), Morra Greco Foundation (Naples), Mazzoleni (London-Turin), Museo Novecento (Florence), Manifattura Tabacchi (Florence), Antonio Ratti Foundation (Como), MACRO (Rome), Contemporary Art Museum of Villa Croce (Genoa), ENSBA (Lyon), Academiae Youth Art Biennale (Brixen), among others. 

Between 2021 and 2022, Rebecca Moccia was: artist-in-residence at Outset Climavore Residency (London); artist fellow at Castro projects (Rome); artist-in-residence at Casa degli Artisti (Milan); among the winners of Cantica21 award by MAECI-DGSP/MiC-DGCC in partnership with MAMbo-Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna collection; and awarded the Italian Council X International Artist Research grant by the Italian Ministry of Culture.

She is among the founding members of AWI – Art Workers Italia.

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