Alex Martinis Roe, A story from Circolo della rosa, still from high definition video including material courtesy of Laura Minguzzi and Marirì Martinengo and the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective Archive, 2014.

Alex Martinis Roe’s video A story from Circolo della rosa  documents the close bond formed between two women who were active participants in the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective Circolo della rosa. Martinis Roe is interested in oral histories and her process involves walking the earth talking to people. The video gives the audience an intimate and personal account of a much larger international movement, which is often studied and theorised on a macro level but rarely is light shed on the personal account of the individuals involved.

Alex’s work involves creating documents, in this case a document of two women involved in a larger institution (bookstore) and then a larger movement (feminism). Alex narartes the video herself but her voice and the language she uses is not authorative, which is common in documentary making. Instead she speaks as an observer and an equal to the video’s subjects portraying her own relationship to the two women in the film.


Perspectives from oral history and postcolonial theory inform her desire to shape an ‘ethics of participation’ that challenges the converntions of traditional documentary making.

—Jasmin Stephens, curator, far and wide: Narrative into Idea


I make documents. These documents are objects, images (both moving and still) and texts, which record the history of their specific encounter or production without attempting to transparently communicate the content of that experience/activity. The refusal to transfer this content within the same context is where my practice becomes co-dependent on the artwork’s interlocutors. These documentary objects/texts then work performatively as the framework which re-produces the cadrage (scene of representation/conditions of meaning) for the next encounter.

— Alex Martinis Roe


See Alex speak about her work from NEW13 at ACCA 2013 which, like A Story from Circolo della Rosa, are informed by the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective

See more of Alex Martinis Roe’s work