Pensiero Plurale: Present Memories: On the Politics of Image-Making

February 20, 2023

Dawit L. Petros, Istruzioni (Transits, Trajectories, Invisible Networks), Part III, Serigraph on Arnhem paper, 2021
Dawit L. Petros, Istruzioni (Transits, Trajectories, Invisible Networks), Part III, Serigraph on Arnhem paper, 2021.

Cold Spring, New York | February 20, 2023—In conjunction with Black History Month, Magazzino Italian Art is pleased to presentPresent Memories: On the Politics of Image-Making, the fourth iteration of Pensiero Plurale, a series of programs conceived and curated by Ilaria Conti centered on issues of cultural and social justice, intersectional thinking, and the arts across Italy and the United States.

Present Memories explores the politics behind some of the incomplete or fictitious narratives that continue to shape historical memories and present-day identities in connection to Italy. The invited speakers will discuss strategies to question and critically rethink such processes of knowledge-formation through visual and material culture.

The program will begin with visual artist Dawit L. Petros discussing the research and methodologies through which his practice addresses the Italian colonial experience in the Horn of Africa, technological and cultural notions of modernity, and the triangulated relationship between European, African and North American mobilities. The artist’s presentation will be followed by a conversation with Teresa Fiore, a scholar whose research focuses on Italian colonial legacies, transnational migrations, and spatial politics.

Mistura Allison will then present an experimental talk, sharing insights into her curatorial practice and introducing praise poetry (oríkì) as a methodology and concept under construction as well as a tool for visual analysis. Engaging multiple forms through the conceptual framework of “parallel gazing,” she will address a collection of visual and written texts, haptic, and sonic exploring the role of the archive as a site of possibilities and imagining. The talk then transcends on the role of storytelling, call and responses, and multitudes in exhibition-making in contemporary Italian art.

Previous installments of Pensiero Plurale have included On the Politics of Visibility, a live-streamed conversation with Alessandra Ferrini, Binta Diaw, Johanne Affricot, and Simone Frangi, Contemporary Art and Social Justice in Italy a live-streamed conversation with Justin Randolph Thompson, Chiara Figone, and Ilaria Bonacossa, and BLAQ IT: Representing Blackness in Italy, a screening and conversation with Fred Kuwornu on the visual histories of Blackness in post-war Italian culture.

Program | RSVP Here

Dawit L. Petros, in conversation with Teresa Fiore | 12:00 p.m.
Lunch | 1:15 p.m.
Mistura Allison | 2:15 p.m.

When booking your ticket, please note the additional add-ons. You can book a seat on our shuttle if you are coming by train. We will be offering our guests a boxed lunch option. When booking your ticket, please choose between the meat and vegetarian option by Tuesday, February 21, before 12 p.m. as lunch orders are limited.

About Ilaria Conti

As a New York-based curator, Ilaria’s work focuses on research-based artistic practices engaging with decolonial epistemologies and the relationship between institutional infrastructures, communal care, curatorial ethics, labor, and civic agency.

Currently, she serves as Curator at the American Federation of Arts, advancing frameworks of decentralized and sustainable exhibition-making with a focus on contemporary art and social/cultural justice. Previously, she served as Research Curator at the Centre Pompidou for Cosmopolis, a multiyear platform devoted to research-based artistic practices and decolonial methodologies. She was Assistant Curator of the 2016 Marrakech Biennale and Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other positions. She is an Advisor in the Visual Arts for the American Academy in Rome.

Ilaria is an Awarded Mentee of the 2021-2022 Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation's Mentorship Program. Her curatorial work has been featured in projects presented at the Centre Pompidou, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Swiss Institute/Istituto Svizzero, Madre Museum, Fondation H, and La Nueva Fábrica Guatemala, among other institutions.

About Dawit L. Petros

Dawit L. Petros is a visual artist, researcher and educator. His work is informed by studies of global modernisms, theories of diaspora, and postcolonial studies. Throughout the past decade, he has focused on a critical re-reading of the entanglements between colonialism and modernity. Petros installs photographs, moving images, sculptural objects, and sound work according to performative, painterly, or site responsive logics.

Petros completed the Whitney Independent Study Program, an MFA in Visual Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University; a BFA in Photography from Concordia University and a BA in History from the University of Saskatchewan. Recent exhibition venues include KØS Museum for Art in Public Space, Nørregade, Køge, Denmark; Ozangé Spanish Biennial of African Photography, Malaga, Spain; Oslo Kunstforening, Oslo, Norway; 13th Biennial of Havana, Matanzas; and Huis Marseille Museum of Photography, Amsterdam, NL. His works have been recognized with awards including a Terra Foundation Research Fellow, Artist Residencies at The Studio Museum in Harlem, The McColl Center for Visual Art, and an Independent Study Fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Dawit L. Petros is an Associate Professor in the Department of Photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is represented by Tiwani Contemporary in London, UK and Bradley Ertaskiran in Montreal, Canada.

About Teresa Fiore

Teresa Fiore is Professor of Italian and the Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University.

The recipient of several fellowships (De Bosis, Rockefeller and Fulbright), she has held Visiting positions at Harvard, Yale, New York University, and Rutgers University. Her pluri-awarded book Pre-Occupied Spaces: Remapping Italy’s Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies (Fordham UP, 2017) is now available in an Italian edition (Mondadori/Le Monnier, 2021). Fiore is also the co-editor of the section “Italy and the Euro-Mediterranean ‘Migrant Crisis’” in the Journal of Modern Italian Studies (2018). Her numerous articles on migration to/from Italy and (post-)colonialism linked to 20th and 21st century Italian literature, theater, music and cinema have appeared in Italian, English, and Spanish both in journals and edited collections, including Transnational Italian Studies (2020). An essay of hers about the artwork of photographer Dawit L. Petros is included in an exhibition catalogue published by Mousse (Spazio Disponibile, 2022). She is currently working on two research projects: projects: Food practices at the time of the Allied Landing in Sicily during WWII, and the NEH-supported Memoria presente: The Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American Cultures. She directs a program of interdisciplinary events about Italian culture in a transnational perspective.

About Mistura Allison

Mistura Allison is an independent researcher, curator and art historian based between London and Milan. With her curatorial practice being shaped by her interest in exploring interdisciplinary, contemporary, and celebratory images of Blackness, she is the founder of ashikọ, a research platform inspired by Africa and its Diaspora.

She is a member of Archive Sites, an ensemble of practitioners and storytellers collaborating across different longitudes, and sharing multiple languages, ancestries, and sensitivities. She co-curates the program Publishing Practices, an on-going inquiry around the production and dissemination of printed matters and a multi-sensorial reflection on other forms of knowing and existing. The program is committed to a broad spectrum of practices, genealogies of thoughts, and insurgent literacies.

Her practice is further fueled by her interest in exploring the plurality of contemporary Afro-Diasporic visual, performative and oral productions. She is the curator of Birds of Passage, a fully funded international residency in Milan dedicated to artistic exchange through research and public programming. Mistura is particularly engaged in global and transnational artistic practices in thinking through processes of visual storytelling, and how they might help us imagine new futures, and experience different constellations. Among other institutions, her most recent curatorial offerings have been presented at the National Gallery in Rome (GNAM), Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage, Victoria & Albert Museum, Venice Biennale, and Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

Magazzino News

Magazzino Italian Art