Victorian College of the Arts, 2009, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours)
My work is driven by process, resulting in conceptions that come from my female body, drawing on themes such as strangeness/foreignness, intimacy & vulnerability, self & Other, presence & absence, and horror/desire. I connect my practice through an interdisciplinary artistic dialogue between video, sculpture, installation, painting and photography. Viewed through an emotional, psychological, and/or corporeal lens, I attempt to translate my bodily experience: the way it moves, the way it feels, the way it is observed by others, the way it is perceived by the self, its temporal relationship to the world & to others. My research is deeply rooted in psychoanalytical thinking, feminist theory. My experience of being female and the complexities I have experienced of female heterosexuality, desire and erotica within a patriarchal system is also a major resource for my work.
As a material focus, my current interest in using bread dough as metaphor within my practice, is its life cycle; once activated by warm water and sugar, the cells of yeast split and divide, similarly to when an egg is fertilized by sperm. There is a peak moment when dough is voluptuous, full, and ripe, just before it begins to ‘die’. The ephemeral qualities allows for representations of birth, growth, time, sexuality, bodily limits, aging, death, & decay. My dough works have recently shifted from a direct bodily relationship into creating what I am titling ‘performative sculptures’. These performative sculptures use inanimate objects for the dough to interact with, rather than a body, allowing the dough to claim it’s environment as it rises out of & around objects that it eventually consumes. These works, are aimed to ‘perform’ live within public spaces, giving agency to the living organism that is dough and re-conceptualizes preconditioned roles & relationships by considering the body in the space of architecture.
Santina Amato is an interdisciplinary artist born in Australia to Italian immigrants, and has lived and worked in USA since 2010. Driven by process and directed by the work itself, her practice incorporates video, sculpture, installation, painting and photography. Her research is deeply rooted in psychoanalytic thinking, feminist theory, and attempts to translate the complexities of her own female sexuality, desire and erotica within a patriarchal system.
Amato received a Master of Fine Arts (2017) at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and is the recipient of the Angela & George Paterakis and the Leroy Neiman Scholarships. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia in 2009.
She is the founder and director of Moving_Image_00:00, a bi annual festival of moving image works created by Chicago based artists and hosted at LATITUDE, Chicago. Her video work Midnight Dinner (2016) received an Honorable Mention at the 2016 ExFest Film & Video Festival, Chicago and her video works have been screened at Brooklyn Public TV, New York (2015), Hatched Northside Film Festival, New York (2015) and The International Women’s Day Video Screening in Melbourne, Australia (2013).
Amato has exhibited extensively in Australia and the U.S.A including Links Hall, Chicago, USA (2016), The Governors Island Art Fair, New York, U.S.A (2014), Detroit International Videonale, Kuntshalle Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, MI, U.S.A (2013) and Currents 2012, International New Media Arts Festival, Santa Fe, U.S.A (2012).
She has received funding from the American Australian Association, NY (2014), Australia Council for the Arts, AUS (2012) and the Ian Potter Cultural Fund, AUS (2015 & 2008). Amato has held positions as Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at ACRE, Steuben, WI, Artspace Visual Arts Center, Sydney, Australia (2013), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia (2012), New York Art Residency and Studios Foundation, New York, U.S.A (2012), BRIC Media Arts House, NY (2014) and Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia (2012). She has also held positions as Teaching Assistant (2015-2017) and Writing Fellow (2016 & 2017)) at School of the Art Institute of Chicago during her graduate studies.
Amato’s work is part of a collective photographic portfolio at The Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection (2016) and The Art Institute of Chicago (2016) and video collection at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia (2013).