22 Feb 2017

Italian Oresteia

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Where and when

22February 2017



Museo Novecento

Free admission subject to availability

Talk by Simone Frangi and Alessandra Ferrini. In english

In collaboration with Syracuse University Florence

The talk intends to reconstruct the genealogy and theoretical foundations of the Italian Orestiade project, curated by Simone Frangi on the occasion of the XVI Quadrennial in Rome, which includes the contributions of 22 Italian artists and researchers. Structured through the exhibition of installations and editorial objects and a schedule of projections, performances and a radio program, Orestiade italiana ventures into a project of analogous and choral “rewriting” of the main nuclei of the Notes for an African Orestiade by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1970), of which he takes up the sketched form, the theoretical connections and the ambiguity of the point of view.

The project, which collects positions and research on this fundamental work, intends to make fruitful those ambivalent forms of “heretical orientalism” that Pasolini had exasperatedly proposed in his research in Africa, in order to analyze some emerging still controversial factors of the present in Italy and Europe.
With the firm determination to promote a mutual alteration of the “White Athena” and “Black Africa” ​​and to create a contaminated space, Pasolini dangerously proposes the hypothesis that Africa, unlike Europe, has had access to a “hybrid” and “alternative” modernity, a controversial invention of exoticism that can be traced back to a minor, particular and derivative version of the modern European model launched in the Third World.

Not surprisingly, the African Oresteia project is supported 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 tendency to a “harmful masculinity” intrinsic in the patriarchal European culture. Insinuating itself into the folds of the different relationships between artistic practice and cultural research in the art scene in Italy, Orestiade italiana focuses on contributions that investigate even more deeply into the heterogeneous catalog of premises of the entire project: the study of latent conflicts and the European stasis; micro-fascisms and social normalizations; the ambivalent links between the documentary approach and cultural and multicultural orientalism in anthropological and ethnological practices; the need to place the postcolonial point of view in a specific “place of belonging”; Italian colonial issues with a focus on the impact of decolonization and the beginning of the post-localization on the gender and racial 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 Aesthetics and Theory of Art. He is currently artistic director of Viafarini – Non-profit organization for contemporary artistic research (Milan), co-curator of Live Works – Performance Act Award at Centrale Fies (Trento) and co-director of A Natural Oasis, organized by Little Constellation – Network of Contemporary Art and dedicated to geo-cultural micro areas and small European states for the BJCEM. He is Professor of Contemporary Art Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Grenoble – where he founded the workshop and research program “Practices of Hospitality” – and Professor of History and Methodology of Art Criticism at the Academy of Brera (Milan). In 2015, he was one of the five curators of the tenth edition of the Furla Award for Contemporary Art and in 2016 one of the ten curators of the Rome Quadriennale.

Alessandra Ferrini

(Florence, 1984. Lives in London). She is a visual artist, researcher and educator, co-director of mnemoscape.org. Moving between collaboration, curating, pedagogy and publishing, her research is rooted in lens-based media, postcolonial studies, and historiographical and archival practices.

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