Contemporary Exhibitions

Amalia Pica
Private & Confidential

British/Argentinean artist Amalia Pica is known for her installations and sculptural works, which explore forms of communication and realms of civic participation. For her major solo exhibition, ‘Private & Confidential’, the artist presented new work on the theme of bureaucracy and office material culture, alongside an earlier installation, Joy in Paperwork: The Archive, 2016. This series arose from Pica’s struggle to gain British citizenship and was shown in the exhibition in its entirety for the first time in the UK.


Pica repurposed materials and motifs such as shredded paper, office furniture and stationery to produce works that playfully parody and subvert bureaucratic systems and procedures. A room installation involving wallpapers bearing repeated motifs of patterns found inside security envelopes were overlaid with wooden painted shapes of small details from particular envelopes (Element (envelope security pattern) #1,2,3,4,5, 2019). A series of ear-like sculptures (Private & Confidential, 2019) made with shredded paper waste from the Gallery offices explored ideas around eavesdropping, surveillance and sensitivities around the destruction of confidential information.


To coincide with the exhibition, Pica produced a limited edition print and a new publication, Joy in Paperwork. This utilised the systems and means of production of the Gallery and involved staff in its making.


Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation.



Artist Interview

Amalia Pica, September 2019

Filmed by Mark Hinton of Blend Film



In Conversation and film screening

Saturday 1 February, 2020, 2pm

Amalia Pica and Curator, Zoë Lippett, delivered a tour of the exhibition, which was followed by the first public screening of ‘Private & Confidential’, a film by cinematographer Rafael Ortega. The film documents a performance by Walsall college dance students, who Pica invited to respond to the exhibition.

‘Private & Confidential’ dance performance

Filmed by Rafael Ortega, November 2019


Cinematographer Rafael Ortega filmed a performance in the Gallery by Walsall College dance students on the 4th November 2019. This was followed by a public performance a few days later.


Following an invitation from artist Amalia Pica to collaborate, the students choreographed a performance inspired by office culture. This engaged directly with Pica’s major solo exhibition, ‘Private & Confidential’, which was on display at the Gallery from 20th September 2019 – 2nd February 2020. Through movement, the students activate Pica’s sculptures and disrupt otherwise useless static configurations of office furniture within the exhibition. In their hands, humble sheets of office paper are transformed into tools for creative expression. The performance prompts consideration of how rules and bureaucratic procedures might impede our ability to be joyful.


With thanks to Walsall College dance students Jamie, Malcolm, Demi, Scarlet, Vicky, Mia, Chloe, Fran, Cora and Jess, and lecturer/performance director, Faye Cox.


‘Private & Confidential’ dance performance

Filmed by Rafael Ortega, November 2019

11 minutes 43 seconds

‘Private & Confidential’ dance performance (expanded version)

Filmed by Rafael Ortega, November 2019

19 minutes 48 seconds