The talk tries to reconstruct the genealogy and the theoretical underpinning of project “Orestiade italiana”, curated by Simone Frangi at XVI Quadriennnale of Rome, featuring the contributions of 22 italians artists and researchers. Shaped under the form of displayed exhibition of installations and editorial objects, a palimpsest of screenings and performances and a radio program, “Orestiade italiana” ventures into a project of analogue and choral “rewriting” of the main nuclei of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Appunti per un’Orestiade africana (Notes Towards an African Orestes, 1970), from which it adopts the sketchy form, the theoretical junctions and the ambiguity of viewpoint. The project, which gathers positions and research around this seminal work, attempts to make productive those ambivalent forms of “heretical orientalism” that Pasolini puts forward in an exacerbated way in his research in Africa, in order to analyze certain still controversial emerging factors of the present in Italy and Europe. With a firm resolve to nurture a mutual corruption of the “white Athena” and the “black Africa” and to create a resulting impure space, Pasolini ventures dangerously into the hypothesis that Africa, unlike Europe, has had access to a “hybrid” and “alternative” modernity, a controversial exoticist invention that can be traced back to a minor, particular and derivative version of the modern European model, as activated in the Third World. Not by chance, the African Oresteia project is sustained by a biting interpretation of the bourgeois manipulations of the imperialist myth of the “noble savage,”made even more complex by an interpretation that associates it with the drifts of that “toxic masculinity” intrinsic to European patriarchal culture. Winding through the folds of the multiple relations between artistic practice and cultural research in the Italian art scene, Orestiade italiana concentrates on contributions that delve deeper into a heterogeneous catalogue of issues that resonate with the discursive premises of the entire project: the study of latent conflicts and European stasis; microfascisms and social normalizations; ambivalent ties between documentary approaches and cultural and multicultural orientalism in anthropological and ethnological praxes; the need for location and for positioning the postcolonial viewpoint in a specific “site of belonging”; Italian colonial questions with a focus on the impact of decolonization and the opening of the “postcolony” to the racial and gender imaginary in Italy.
Simone Frangi (Como, 1982. Lives and works in Milan and Grenoble) is a cultural researcher, writer and curator. He holds a French-Italian PhD in Aestethics and Theory of Art. He’s currently artistic director of Viafarini – Non profit Organization for Contemporary Artistic Research (Milan, IT) and co-curator of Live Works – Performance Act Award at Centrale Fies (Trento, IT) and co-director of A Natural Oasis organized by Little Constellation – Network of Contemporary Art focused on Geo-cultural Micro-areas and Small States of Europe for BJCEM. He’s Lecturer on Theory of Contemporary Art at Fine Arts and Design Academy in Grenoble (FR) – where he founded the workshop and residency based research program “Practices of Hospitality” – and of Theory and Methodology or Art Writing and Critique at Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. In 2015, he was one of the five curators of the 10th edition of Furla Prize for Contemporay Art and in 2016 one of the ten curator of Quadriennale of Rome.
Alessandra Ferrini (Florence, 1984. Lives and works in London) is a visual artist, researcher and educator based in London. Her latest project,Ghetto Relay was selected for the A-i-R Wro Open Call Europe residence in Fall 2016, in the context of Wroclaw European Capital of Culture (Poland). Her film Negotiating Amnesia will be part of Un’Orestiade Italiana, a group show curated by Simone Frangi for the Rome Quadriennale (October 2016 – January 2017) and of Postocolonia Italia at S.a.L.e. Docks (Venice, March 2017). Ferrini is also working on Spaces of Memory a retrospective show in Seoul, South Korea, curated by Seihee Shon (2017). Recent shows include Negotiating Amnesia a solo exhibition at P.A.C. Le Murate (Florence, IT, 2015) a collateral project of Festival dei Popoli, International Documentary Film Festival ; A Natural Oasis – A Transnational Project a group show at Viafarini (Milan, IT, 2015) commissioned by Mediterranea 17 Biennal – Bjcem; Three Gates a group show at Hanmi Gallery (London, UK, 2012).
Free access to the lecture, while seats last. The entrance does not include the access to the museum