Virgile Ittah’s work addresses taboo, marginal subjects, such as the status of illegal workers and the representation of the dead body. Her exploration centres on notions of subjectivity, identity and embodiment. The state of constant passage and flux in which migrants exist forces them into a state of alterity; of falling between national and cultural identities. This investigation is wrought through an attempt to explore the body as a territory upon which such questions about the nature of subjective experience, (the workings of the psyche), can be perceived and described. The material choices Ittah makes and the processes she selects are critical to her approach and to the intended reading of the work; wax functions as a means to explore the alteration of the body after death and the consequences of this changed state on our perception of the subject. Her probing of the spaces between subject and object, corporeal and imaginative truth, points the viewer to socio-political questions about control and power in relation to the status of the illegal worker within Western society.
MA, Photography, Speos International Photography School, Paris, 2011
The Open West 2013, Open West, Newark Park/Cheltenham, 2013; Camera Clara Prize, Galerie UPP, Paris, 2012; Inspiring Matter, Royal College of Art, London, 2012; Fair, Edinburgh College of Art, 2012
Second Prize, Camera Clara Prize, 2012