Still from video. Pensiero Plurale: On the Politics of Visibility from Magazzino Italian Art on Vimeo.

Pensiero Plurale: On the Politics of Visibility

A livestream discussion on the present-day politics of representation in the arts through the voices of artists, curators, and thinkers.

Magazzino Italian Art presented its third iteration of Pensiero Plurale, On the Politics of Visibility. The live streamed conversation on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 12pm EST with Alessandra Ferrini, Binta Diaw, Johanne Affricot, Simone Frangi. Curated by Ilaria Conti, Pensiero Plurale was a series of programs focused on cultural and social justice and the arts across Italy and the United States. 

On the Politics of Visibility addressed present-day politics of representation in the arts and relating to Italy through the voices of artists, curators, and thinkers. The event provided a platform to discuss artistic projects that reflected on Italy’s historical past and colonial amnesia—including its repercussions in contemporary cultural and institutional practices—and curatorial endeavors that sought to provide visibility to new practices rooted in cultural and social diversity.

About the speakers

Ilaria Conti is an independent curator who focuses on research-based practices engaging with de-colonial epistemologies and the relationship between institutional infrastructures, communal care, and civic agency.  

Most recently, she served as Research Curator at the Centre Pompidou for Cosmopolis, a multiyear platform devoted to research-based artistic practices. Previously, she served as Exhibitions and Programs Director at CIMA New York, Assistant Curator of the 2016 Marrakech Biennale, and Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other positions. 

She serves as Advisor in the Visual Arts for the American Academy in Rome and as Vice-President of the African Art in Venice Forum. She is an awarded mentee of the 2021-2022 Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation’s Mentorship Program. She holds a BA and MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies from the University of Rome La Sapienza and an MA in Visual Arts Management from New York University.

Curated projects include: Pensiero Plurale (2021), Lo Sa La Ter Ruz [On This Red Land] (2021), Proximities (2021), Rethinking Nature (2021), ALT(ering) + SHIFT(ing) + COMM(uning) (2020-ongoing), Prove di R(i)esistenza (2020), Making Space: Art & Generative Communal Practices (2020), Labor/Art/Auratic Conditions (2020), Cosmopolis #2: Rethinking the Human (2019), Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence (2018), Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence (2017), 6th Marrakech Biennale: Not New Now (2016).

Alessandra Ferrini is a London-based artist and researcher. Experimenting with the expansion and hybridization of the documentary film, she works across moving images, installation, editorial and pedagogic formats. Her research questions the legacies of Italian colonialism and Fascism, with a specific interest in the Mediterranean region. Recent exhibitions include: Manifesta 13 Paralléles du Sud (Marseille, 2020), Museion Bozen (2020), Sharjah Film Platform (2019), Istanbul Biennal collateral (Depo, 2019), 2nd Lagos Biennal (2019), Manifesta 12 Film Programme (Palermo, 2018), Villa Romana (Florence, 2018 and solo show 2019), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin, 2018, 2020, 2021). She is one of the Maxxi Bvlgari Prize 2022 finalists. Future exhibitions include the 5th Casablanca Biennale and ar/ge kunst Bozen (solo show). She was the recipient of the 2017 Experimenta Pitch Award at the London Film Festival (British Film Institute) and the 2018 Mead Residency at the British School at Rome. She is a PhD candidate at the University of the Arts London, a Research Fellow at the British School at Rome and Archive Milan. Her writing has been published internationally and features in Everything Passes Except the Past - Decolonizing Ethnographic Museums, Film Archives and Public Space edited by Jana Haeckel for Sternberg Press (2021).

Binta Diaw is an artist who lives and works in Milan, Italy. Binta Diaw graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan and the École Supérieure d’Art et Design-Grenoble, in Grenoble.

Often declined in the form of installations of various sizes, Binta Diaw’s plastic research is part of a philosophical reflection on the social phenomena that define our contemporary world, such as migration, the notion of belonging or the question of identity.

By fueling her research through contributions on intersectionality and feminism, Binta Diaw takes us into the exploration of multiple levels of identity; hers as a black woman in a Europeanized world, ours and that of a continuous crossroads of histories and geographies.

Binta Diaw’s work has been exhibited, in particular, in: and plant seeds for a different way of living, Titanik and Museum of Impossible Forms, (Turku, 2022); The Recovery plan, Istituto Italiano di Cultura de Paris (Paris, 2022); Les Filons Géologiques, Palazzo Accursio (Bologna, 2021); Museo Novecento (Firenze, 2021); Dïà s p o r a, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, (Abidjan, 2021); School of Water-Mediterranea, Young Artists Biennale (San Marino, 2021); I have this memory, it is not my own, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Dakar, 2020); Waves Between Us, Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation (Guarene, 2020); Nero Sangue, MAGA Museum (Gallarate, 2020); In Search of Our Ancestor's Garden, Galleria Giampaolo Abbondio (Milan, 2020); Soil is an Inscribed Body, Savvy Contemporary (Berlin, 2019).

Johanne Affricot is an Italian-Haitian-Ghanaian cultural producer a d curator, born and raised in Rome. She is the founder and artistic director of boutique media platform GRIOTmag and nomadic space SPAZIO GRIOT which—powered by an eponymous collective—platforms multidisciplinary experimentation, exploration and discussion through arts and culture. Driven by the need to create a space of representation that amplifies underrepresented voices in the Italian and international artistic and socio-cultural landscape, she founded GRIOT in 2015. She is also a member of the GRIOT Collective, alongside writer, artist and music producer Celine Angbeletchy, known by the stage name of EHUA, and Eric Otieno Sumba, a writer, social theorist and critic.

In 2015 she curated the discussion panel Afroitalians in the Arts Today within the exhibition Nero su Bianco (Black on White) at the American Academy in Rome. She produced and directed the documentary series The Expats. The Untold Stories of Black Italians Abroad (2016-2017) and Motherland > (2017-present). Between 2018-2019, she was the artistic director of Mirrors, a contemporary dance and video art performance designed for the Italia, Culture, Africa program of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation which travelled from Rome to Addis Ababa, Johannesburg and Dakar. For the Futura Memoria/Contemporaneamente Roma festival (2019) she curated (Memorie) In Ascolto (Listening Memories), a reading performance and a video installation at a market hall. In 2020 the international organization of contemporary photography Der Greif invited her to curate an online exhibition Guest Room.

Affricot is one of the ten women chosen by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs to represent Italian culture, creativity, and language around the world, and was featured in the video series Portraits of women on the online portal “Italiana” in 2021.

Simone Frangi is a researcher and writer working at the intersection of critical thinking, curatorial research, and education. He holds a French-Italian Ph.D. in Aesthetics and Theory of Art and currently serves as Professor of Theory of Contemporary Art at Fine Arts and Design Academy in Grenoble, France, where he founded and coordinates the Research Unit Hospitalité artistique et activisme visuel pour une Europe diasporique et post-occidentale (2015-ongoing). He co-directs Live Works - Free School of Performance at Centrale Fies (Trento, Italy) and runs A Natural Oasis? (2013-ongoing) a Transnational Research Programme on small states and micro-territories in the Mediterranean. In 2021 he was Senior Curator of MEDITERRANEA19 - School of Waters and recently published with Lucrezia Cippitelli, Colonialità e Culture Visuali in Italia (Mimesis, 2021).

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