Anatomy of an Oyster by Rita Puig-Serra

Anatomy of an Oyster by Rita Puig-Serra

Anatomy of an Oyster by Rita Puig-Serra

Where: PhMuseum Lab | Via Paolo Fabbri 10/2a | Bologna, Italy

When: 12 June 2024 - 15 September 2024

Admission: Free

Vernissage: 12 June | 6pm-9pm

Opening Days: 27 June and 11 July from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and on occasion of PhMuseum Days on 12-15 September

About the event

Mother-of-pearl, which will in time become the pearl, begins to form when a foreign element is introduced into the oyster.

Starting from this metaphor, Catalan artist Rita Puig-Serra traces her childhood in an effort to process the abuses she suffered in her family as a child. It is an attempt to tell what needs to be told; a way of telling what could never be revealed to a now absent mother. And, at the same time, a way of telling it to herself.

The process of extraction is slow and delicate. It requires an observation phase in which to analyze every detail from different angles. It sustains itself in a balance between vulnerability and courage. You shall keep your focus and strength even when doubts come up, or your loved ones suggest you give up. It requires you to be present and move forward to understand with precision.

Anatomy Of An Oyster is about what we hold inside and don't have the courage to say. Rita Puig-Serra uses photographs, text and archival images to tell her story. She searches through family photos for details of the person who abused her. She gets as close as possible, an cathartic exercise conveying the violence of a look. She recreates a letter written to her best friend and later burned in a park. She embarks on a descent into an emotional, physical and analytical memory that serves to contextualize and make sense of the present.

The pearl, which is an oyster’s autobiography, is the result of this exploration: a search carried out to find it, assimilate it, and finally remove it.

“What cannot be communicated to the mother, cannot be communicated to the self”. – John Bowlby

During the event, the artist will present the book Anatomy of an Oyster published by Witty Books. On the occasion, the presentation will be held in collaboration with the cultural association Sugar Paper from Modena, within Photobook Mania, our photobook-related cycle.

Anatomy of an Oyster is part of the PhMuseum Days 2024 and will remain open after the opening on the 27 June and 11 July from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. It will then be open to visitors again during the PhMuseum Days festival from 12 to 15 September 2024.

Some copies of the book will be available to be purchased and signed by the author.


Rita Puig-Serra is a Barcelona-based photographer. With a background in Humanities and an MA in Comparative Literature, she later studied Graphic Design and Photography. Today, Puig-Serra works on personal projects alongside various commercial assignments. Her first project, Where Mimosa Bloom, was published by Editions du Lic in 2014. Anatomy of an Oyster has been published by Witty Books in 2023.

Admission to the exhibition is free. For more information, write to us at

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