ad una giovane donna di Daniela Zangrando

Pattuglie di cavalleria in perlustrazione, ottobre 1918
Courtesy Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra, Rovereto.
Dovrai imparare a godere la bellezza di una ghiandaia
e l’incanto inaccessibile dell’azzurro che ti svolazzerà davanti 
Rapire il profumo intenso della lavanda
strusciando mani e corpo tra cespugli inebriati di sensualità
Dovrai conoscere la solitudine. E accompagnarti all’ingegno, 
alla devota intelligenza, alla passione.
Dovrai imparare a leggere, scrivere, e far di conto
Divorare storie fino a farne ossessione e incessante fame
Imparare il nome delle cose 
e il loro tremore
Prenderti di te cura come il curato di campagna 
in un film in bianco e nero si premura delle anime, 
con ironia, benevolenza, gentilezza. Fermezza.
Dovrai nutrire il condottiero
mai dimentica del pianto e dello sgomento
Non oscurare il desiderio, e non sentirne colpa
Diffidare della cerimoniosità, delle speranze logore, 
delle dichiarazioni che tendono all’eterno 
Non cercare posto sicuro dove fissarti 
una volta per sempre
Non temere la confusione popolosa della tua testa, 
di quelle tante io che sei, 
eremita e puttana, ubriachezza e castità, 
compostezza e alterazione
La furia e le sue deviazioni
Non ricoprire di disprezzo il tuo esser fatalmente madre
Che sia accettazione dell’intraducibile tenerezza 
scritta sulla pelle di pesca del neonato 
portato al mondo
o mescolamento del ventre quando guiderai un’idea 
lentamente al farsi
allunga le mani e prendi quanto puoi della pienezza, 
grattala con le unghie, rubala 
e affondala in un posto solo tuo. 
Sii giovane 
come quei puledri che cadono al suolo 
ma continuano a provare ad alzarsi in piedi, 
sanguinanti e coperti di paglia, pronti a mettersi in viaggio. 
Indossa un maglione smagliante e vai. Via andare. 
Perché solo da te dipenderà la salvezza. 

Daniela Zangrando, estate 2020.

ad una giovane donna è dedicata a Francesco Fonassi.

Professional // Amateur by Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir

Limbo of Cultural Value and Cultural Waste, 2018, HD video, 8 mins

“When does the amateur become professional?”

“What creates a professional?”

When it comes to art-making, what determines who is deemed professional? 

Among the many acts and ways of making art, the idea of the ‘professional’ artist seems to be that of an individual who is able to create value acknowledged both culturally and economically, whose actions and works are validated by institutions within society. In this context, the amateur is an individual fuelled by passion and interest but unable to create cultural or economic value on a societally significant scale. The divide between the two is neither clear nor permanent; it can go and has gone through endless variations and modulations with time: they are two extremes between which individuals who partake in cultural production find themselves. 

Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir (b. 1989 in Iceland) is an artist and an independent curator based in Berlin.

The Paintings Nuptials

Ten years ago, we did No Soul for Sale at Tate Modern, the London powerhouse museum that turned 20 this year.  On that occasion, artist Adam Avikainen celebrated the nuptials between two paintings of his and two paintings he chose from the Tate Collection, in the galleries where they were hung with a group of us as witnesses1. Adam has been sending each year for 10 years an e-mail in May to the participants to these nuptials, he promised a forever and he is keeping his word. The e-mail addresses he gathered in 2010 though, have been bouncing, each year less people receive his message on behalf of the paintings. In 2020, we are scattered in different parts of the world, and in different phases of lockdown induced by Covid.  Continue reading

Sinofuturismo e AI: programmati per un lavoro senza fine [IT]


Lawrence Lek Geomancer [still], 2017, HD video, stereo sound, duration: 48 min 15 sec. Image credit: © Lawrence Lek, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Ciao Lisa,
ti scrivo dalla Lombardia in quarta settimana di quarantena, forse i pensieri non sono molto lucidi ma provo lo stesso a porti delle questioni che vorrei discutere con te. Innanzitutto grazie della traduzione in italiano dell’intervista che ho fatto all’artista Lawrence Lek tra il 2017 (quando ancora vivevo a Singapore) e l’inizio di quest’anno funesto, rientrata in Italia prima degli inizi del contagio da Covid-19. […]

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Surface Creep by Sarah Walker


Sarah Walker Surface Creep, 2019
Binaural audio work. 14’42.
Created for Tropical Lab 13 at LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore

Anchored in the real space of the LaSalle campus, Surface Creep is a walking tour that works between worlds. It uses the bleed between narration and diagetic and recorded sound to disrupt the spaces between truth and fiction, present and future.

Set partly in a future where Singapore has reclaimed so much land from the ocean that the world has become a giant dust bowl, the work uses fictive inquiry to bring ecological disaster into the present. (Sarah Walker, 2019).

Listen on soundcloud


Audio file via Assembly Room NYC

View this post on Instagram

Curating at the time of COVID19 is a series of short, homemade videos, by our fellow independent women curators, discussing curating practices during the lockdown.😷 . We are pleased to introduce our guest for the 10thepisode, Caterina Riva, an independent woman curator from Northern Italy. She co-founded the curatorial project space FormContent in London (2007-11), was director of Artspace in Auckland, New Zealand (2011-14), and curator at ICA Singapore (2017-19). After 8 weeks of lockdown, she can now go for walks with a mask. 🎊🎉🎊 @cateriva . We are committed to continuing our mission to create community and to support the work of independent women curators by sharing our stories, our work, and our inspiration in these challenging times. We invite you to enjoy our new online content created by our community of awesome women! Topics include; What does an independent curator do? What do curators think of online exhibitions? What artists, artworks, and exhibitions are curators working on or inspired by? . Bio: Caterina Riva is a curator from Italy: she co-founded the curatorial project space FormContent in London (2007-11), was director of Artspace in Auckland, New Zealand (2011-14) and curator at ICA Singapore (2017-19). Pre Covid, Riva has been working on a research on how digital technologies are changing the way in which artists and curators are approaching artworks, shaping exhibitions and dealing with audiences. . More to come. Stay tuned!📡📡📡 . #assemblyroomnyc #curatingatthetimeofcovid19 #video #igtv #igtvseries #opencall #5minutes #diy #homemadevideo #lowfi #temporarilyclosed #independent #women #curator #independentwomencurators #lowereastside #lowerestsidegallery #newyork #nyc #besafe #togetherathome #resister #nycgallerieslive #newartdealers #artkeepsongoing #viaggidacamera #luigighirri #miaoying @miaoyingmiao @mplusmuseum

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An interview with Lawrence Lek


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Lawrence Lek, AIDOL, 2019 [still] © Lawrence Lek, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Lek’s work usually takes the form of film, where he applies his skills at CGI (computer generated imagery) animation and at composing soundtracks. With animated, filmic works like Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD), Geomancer, AIDOL and 2065, Lek conjures up future scenarios where the virtual is changing the definition of all human categories, including art. The artist ponders through different viewpoints — both human and artificial — and adopts English, Mandarin and Cantonese to describe how the world might be like a few decades from now.

Continue reading my interview with Lawrence Lek on

Miao Ying: Beyond the Great Firewall of China


Miao Ying, Happily Contained, 2018, VR, 7′ , Courtesy of the artist and MadeIn Gallery

I am not sure where your IP address is located as you read this article. I am in now Italy trying to question the reach of digital technologies in our lives, interactions and flailing democracies. I started becoming more aware of the role of technology in society while living in Singapore, noticing how interfaces were shaping the city and its inhabitants.

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Stones Under Stress by Ruth Höflich

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Ruth Höflich, Stones Under Stress (from series), 2020, archival inkjet print

I move to the edge of the wall, touch the surface which is cold and chalky. What house system are you using? Yours is a new house, one you designed yourself. You open the window. I talk about what was on my mind that night. An image of two habits short-circuiting. One stimulated by the other, something being distilled, boiled down. That it was meant to be. You reposition my chair, wipe down the table. That it’s still a region of tissue, strata of flesh and nerves and muscle. I go through my list, I mention resistance training, flexibility, geophysical processes. You pour liquid into a glass. I steady the glass with my hand. I use the other to push the image across and let it drip, discharge onto the wooden surface like some form of glandular secretion. 

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Madison Bycroft, Mollusk Theory: Soft Bodies, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, 2018.


Kai is a perky Chinese-Singaporean woman wearing gray shorts, sneakers and a T-shirt adorned with cats. You get the impression she is getting ready for a run rather than a performance. The Ikea stools for the audience are arranged in an arch shape in part of the gallery close to a glass partition. My Brazilian friends, attending the performance with me, feel the audience setup is constrictive, mirroring public spaces in Singapore where any improvised crossing or alternative routes are obstructed by metal barriers and plant fences. It seems I have been in Singapore long enough to no longer pick up on bodily curtailment. 

The text was written and first published in a Dance Mag, The Furor Issue, 2018.

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Worn time


Detail from Lai Yu Tong’s exhibition It’s strange I feel like I’ve seen this one before at DECK. Photo: Chua Chye Teck

On Lai Yu Tong’s Bandcamp page, under the name cosmologists, the introduction to his music tracks reads, “Proudly made under the depressing yellow-lit nights of Singapore.”  

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Dafne Boggeri [it]


Dafne Boggeri, Training Coincidences, 2017. Courtesy Marsèlleria. Photo Sara Scanderebech

Chi è Dafne Boggeri?
i-D è un lavoro del 2006 dove l’artista si presenta in quattro carte d’identità, indossando in ciascuna una maglietta con una scritta diversa; la serie completa compone la frase: trans/lation/some/time. La traduzione non risolve l’enigma che, anzi, si infittisce quando nel campo relativo alla professione nei documenti si legge “astronomo”. Dafne Boggeri si divincola dalle definizioni e si muove agilmente fra una molteplicità di linguaggi.

Leggi il resto su Flash Art Italia

Speakers Notes by Gemma Kearney

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Gemma Kearney, smooth space, 2018.

There’s inertia here

A land for our speaker

Linguistic familiarity at gun point

A wonderful retribution to take that language and 

brutalize it

Better at it then those who forced it upon others

A tipsy topsy turvy way of saying things 

An abuse of language 

A lot of onomatopoeia goin on

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I come from Northern Italy, not too far from where Marco Polo started his journey East more than seven hundred years ago, but I now live in Singapore. I travelled there by plane with one big luggage and no immediate return ticket. In Europe my skin is white but gets tanned in summer months, in Asia when I stand in the sun I get ‘sunburnt’ instead. Language reveals a lot of cultural and historical biases.

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Protocols of sharing


Massimo Bottura is a Michelin star chef, his restaurant, featured on Chef’s table, Master of None and many other food and TV programmes, is Osteria Francescana in his hometown, Modena, a city in the centre of Italy where making pasta is considered an art. Bottura is married to Lara, an American woman he met when, in their 20s, they started working on the same day in the same New York restaurant. Lara eventually married the man but also a vision and then a restaurant. She was the one who introduced Massimo to art galleries and contemporary art exhibitions. Those encounters and ideas gradually made their way into dishes, inspired by Bottura’s childhood and traditional Italian family recipes transformed into new creations through conceptual twists often referencing works of contemporary art.

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Adrian Piper [IT]

Adrian Piper è un’ artista-filosofa. Lo si apprende dal suo enciclopedico sito web (, che rivela come la sua ricerca trovi espressione in tre differenti discipline: non solo l’arte e la filosofia, ma anche lo yoga. Nella pagina dedicata alle sue notizie biografiche sono raccolti diversi documenti: testi brevi o estesi, scritti, riscritti e aggiornati a distanza di anni; saggi in prima persona e compendi in terza, oltre alla pagina Wikipedia ricostruita personalmente dall’artista. Sul sito compaiono lettere inviate a redattori, editori e curatori nelle quali Piper prega di correggere informazioni scorrette e di non basarsi su considerazioni esterne all’opera d’arte.

Articolo commissionato da L’Officiel Art Italia e apparso sul N. 3 Aprile 2018

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Jeremy Sharma’s exhibition at ICA Singapore has a vibrant pulse and operates as an orchestra. The instruments the Singaporean artist plays are his videos: in one of them there is a saxophonist who introduces a soulful vibe resonating in the entire gallery. Billy Wong, who played in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, was befriended by Sharma as a street busker; in the video he performs his interpretation for a song composed for guitar, the new score Wong wrote can be found pinned on a wall in the gallery. Sharma films the musician playing at sunset by the windows of a room with a recognisable backdrop of Singapore HDB flats’ skyline. A paper contract next to it, reveals it is an office space rented only for the day of the filming.

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Dreams of Art … [IT]


Sto in un albergo nel caos sporco di Mong Kok, la mia camera e’ su un piano alto e mi pare di essere un’ eroina di un telefilm del giro del millennio tipo quello con Jessica Alba con il tatuaggio di riconoscimento a codice a barra sulla nuca. Se non sto attenta, mi e’ gia’ capitato di aprire la porta dell’armadio anziché quella della doccia, dato che sono uguali e adiacenti.

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head heap heat

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e-publication designed by Studio Vanessa Ban© Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore 2018

Finding a title for this exhibition has been hard; there was for a moment The abstraction of the art object (2017–2065) but I am no Lucy Lippard and it sounded like I was setting out to write a treatise. Then there were Satellite dreams, Dancing satellite and a brief Star Wars reprise, The last satellite, until eventually the satellite was shut down

Caterina Riva 2018

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Above the valley by Sharmini Aphrodite

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Haji Widayat (Indonesia) Wild Orchids in the Forest 1985, oil on canvas

Early morning and the fog pouring into the valley like a river. The hills a shade of emerald so dark that they are almost black. The gently rustling ferns, the wood-plank walls, the water dripping off the roof in beads of light—everything seemed to be drawing breath. She emerged from her sleep as if coming out of a cocoon, opened her eyes into the blooming of things. Through the window she could feel the crisp bite of the wind, see the fog enveloping everything as if the clouds were descending from above. For a moment she closed her eyes. Suddenly the sound of marbles falling onto the roof. When she opened them again the world had whipped itself into a storm.

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Untitled by Janet Lilo


Janet Lilo, Your tree, ongoing photographic series

The local bar was about a 15 minute run away. I ran there because I was late trying to figure out the coordinates at the hotel where I left you, sick in bed.

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Big Towers



Have you ever travelled in time to an imaginary place where disparate famous architectures coexist by the placid waters of a lake? Have you ever seen someone else’s living room in a black and white photograph, distant as a memory yet as close as a family member? A lush velvet curtain becomes a portal transporting you to sculptures in Russia or the Trump Towers in India, amid flowers, foliage and clouds appropriated from Italian art history.

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Per Agata [ENG-IT]

Francesca GrilliAmerican Academy_Roma_I15
© Luis do Rosario

Francesca Grilli, Gold, site specific performance. Library of the American Academy, Rome, 2015

“[…] As the drama of female consciousness in the world; as an attempt to interrupt the dream that man has of woman in order to dream himself; as the possibility of relationships now freed, even if traumatized, from the realm of silence.” (1)

In this precise historical moment, to reflect on what it means to be a woman seems to harbor connotations whose implications are, to say the least, problematic. It does so, in part, because we are still prisoners of a stage in which the male gaze is the one that judges and the only one adopted by the mass media. In a 1973 essay, film theorist Laura Mulvey indicated the tendency of Hollywood movies to reduce the woman to a sexual function or otherwise to a virginal figure of salvation, ever passive with respect to her instrumentalization in male narrative. (2)

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Per un’ erotica dell’ arte [IT-ENG]

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Alex Cecchetti, Le chevalier, table, 4 chairs enzo mari autorpogettazione, woodcut, prints, menu with poems, 2017, from “Tamam Shud” at Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw. Photo: Pat Mic


Quando si incontra Monsieur Cecchetti spiccano i suoi occhi castani: guizzano, si illuminano, ridono. Il corpo tracima energia e le mani e la testa si muovono con foga, accompagnando le sue narrazioni. La voce, allo stesso tempo stentorea e melliflua, porta con sé influssi della sua esistenza nomade tra Italia, Francia e Inghilterra, in un prisma di lingue e di aggettivi, che prendono sfumature diverse in base al contesto linguistico in cui ci si trova. In questi anni Alex Cecchetti ha realizzato libri, sculture, collage, coreografie, performance, riviste, tarocchi…, ma continua a scartare ogni definizione e tentativo in ingabbiarlo in un genere o in uno stile.

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Vilnius e la pesca alla mosca [IT]


Ex-cinema Lietuva, Vilnius, Lituania. Foto di Caterina Riva, 2016

Ultimo giorno a Vilnius. Cammino tra le strade acciottolate della città vecchia fino al ponte sul fiume che mi porta alla zona moderna: grandi supermercati Maxima, grattacieli con l’insegna gigante di una banca svedese… Ho in mente la direzione, l’ho controllata sul portatile prima di lasciare l’albergo ma ora non sono così sicura delle distanze e mi perdo un po’. Invece di costeggiare il fiume salgo verso una strada più in alto e mi ritrovo davanti a un edificio immenso, di era sovietica, che pare un’arena sportiva. Avvicinandomi, noto che lo spazio intorno è vuoto e pieno di erbacce, alcuni vetri sono rotti, altri ricoperti da graffiti; è decisamente abbandonato.

Questo testo è stato scritto per The Towner ma mai pubblicato. Continue reading