Alessandra Ferrini is a London-based artist, researcher and educator.
Her practice is rooted in lens-based media, anti-colonial and memory studies, historiographical and archival practices. Experimenting with the expansion and hybridization of the documentary film, she is interested in the way historical narratives are produced and how their implied ideologies create subjects - be they individuals or societies. Her research investigates Italian foreign and racial politics, notions of resistance, positionality and reflexivity. In particular, it is preoccupied with questioning the legacies of Italian colonialism and fascism with a specific interest in the past and present relations between Italy and the African continent. Framed by the device of the 'essayistic', her work spans across moving image, installation and dialogic formats, as well as writing, publishing and collaboration.
Alessandra's work has featured in international exhibitions, screenings and conferences, including: the 2nd Lagos Biennal (2019), Sharjah Film Platform (2019), Manifesta 12 Film Programme (Palermo 2018), Villa Romana (2018 and 2019), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin 2018), the 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition (Hong-gah Museum, 2018), Document Film Festival (Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, 2017), the 16th Rome Quadriennale (Rome, 2016-17). She is the recipient of the BFI Experimenta Pitch Award at the 2017 London Film Festival (organized by FLAMIN, LUX and the BFI), the 2018 Mead Residency at the British School at Rome, and of an AHRC/Techne PhD scholarship at the University of the Arts London.
She is currently collaborating on a long-term project with Archive Books/Kabinett (Berlin). Since 2016 she is affiliated with InteRGRace, the International Group on Race and Racisms, and has co-directed the research platform Mnemoscape between 2013 and 2016.
PhD Candidate at the Screen School, LCC, University of the Arts London UK
MA Visual Culture, University of Westminster, London UK
BA Fine Art, University of Westminster, London UK
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & SCREENINGS
Exhibition: The Words Create Images, 5th International Casablanca Biennale, Morocco. Curated by Christine Eyene
Exhibition: School of Waters, 19th Mediterranea Biennale, curated by A Natural Oasis? A Transnational Research Programme. Republic of San Marino
Exhibition: Rue d’Algier, Manifesta 13 Parallels du Sud, Casa Italia, Marseille, France. Curated by Alessandro Gallicchio and Simone Frangi
Exhibition: How to Build a Lagoon with a Bottle of Wine, 2nd LAGOS Biennal, Nigeria
Exhibition: When the Present is History, Depo Gallery, Istanbul Biennal collateral programme
Solo exhibition: A Bomb to be Reloaded, Villa Romana, Florence IT
Screening: Sharjah Film Platform, Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates
Solo exhibition: Se la realtà non è solo un fotogramma... (If reality is not just a photogram...), Casa Testori, Milan IT. With Jacopo Rinaldi
Exhibition: The Recovery Plan: Pop-up Black Cultural Center, Fondazione Biagiotti, Florence, Italy. Curated by Black History Month Florence
Screening: Global Perspectives on Fascism & Antifascism, Colgate University, NY, USA
Screening: Peer Session, APT Gallery, London UK
Screening: Conversation Pieces, curated by Michelangelo Corsaro and Archive Kabinett, Santards, Milan, Italy
Exhibition: Our Skins are Porous Too, Skelf online platform, curated by Adam J B Walker
Screening: Manifesta 12 Biennale, Film Programme, Palermo, Italy
Exhibition: Offline Browser: 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei
Exhibition: COMING SOON, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin IT
Exhibition: Directing the Real. Films d’artistes et vidéos des années 2010, Passerelle Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brest, France
Exhibition: Amnistia, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Brera Art Academy), Milan IT
Exhibition: LO-FI, Studium P, Vilnius, Lithuania
Screening: Black Archive Alliance, organised by Villa Romana and Black History Month Florence
Screening: Document Film Festival 2017, CCA Glasgow (Centre for Contemporary Arts), Scotland UK
Screening: Sound of Memory, Curzon Cinema, Goldsmiths, University of London UK
Exhibition: Directing the Real: Artists’ Film and Video in the 2010s, Lo Schermo dell'Arte - Artists' Moving Image Festival, Galleria delle Carrozze di Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence IT
Exhibition: Global Learning - MaGa Gallarate's Contemporary Art Museum, Milan IT
Exhibition: Postcolonia Italia, S.a.L.e. Docks, Venice IT
Screening: Rights and Might: cultural counter-narratives of the migrant and refugee experiences part of the 2017 London Refugee Week - University of Westminster, London UK
Screening: Insurgent Projections, Anarchist Film Festival, Montreal, Canada
Screening: 30th Festival Les Instants Vidéo, Marseille/Milan
Exhibition: Orestiade Italiana, La 16º Quadriennale di Roma (16th Rome Quadriennal) IT
Screening: A-i-R Wro Talk 2.0, Wroclaw PL
Screening: Genesis Cinema / CinemaItaliaUK, London UK
Screening: SOAS University, organised by SOAS History Society, London UK
Screening: Mende International Film Festival, Cinema Paradiso in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
Screening: WE ARE ALL THE OTHER Symposium, The CERA Project, London
Solo exhibition: Negotiating Amnesia, solo exhibition at P.A.C. Le Murate, Florence, IT
56th Festival dei Popoli, International Documentary Film Festival, Spazio Alfieri, Florence, Italy
Exhibition: A Natural Oasis, Viafarini, special project for MEDITERRANEA17, BJCEM Biennale, Milan IT
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS & PERFORMANCE-LECTURES
Performative-Lecture: Archive Kabinett, Berlin
Performative-Lecture: Depo Gallery, Istanbul Biennal collateral project
Between Myth and Memory: Contemporary Politics and the Performance of History, Centre for Performance and Urban Living, University of Surrey
Life of Crops: Towards an Investigative Memorialization, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
Performative-Lecture: Villa Romana, Florence, Italy
Performative-Lecture: Screen Research Forum, LCC, University of the Arts London
Italian fascism in the prism of contemporary art, Roma Tre University and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris)
Identities in Motion: Precariato, Warwick University, organised by Gianmarco Mancosu and Gioia Panzarella
Artist Talk: Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Art Academy of Brera), Milan
Live (T)Race Symposium, University of Padua, organised by
Artist Talk: Archival Resources and Ethnographic Film, RAI (Royal Anthropological Institute) Film Festival, Watershed Cinema, Bristol UK
Artist Talk: Orestiade Italiana / Florence Black History Month - with Simone Frangi, Museo Novecento, Florence IT
Radical Hospitality, London Conference in Critical Thought 2017, South Bank University
Artist Talk: A-i-R Wro Talk 2.0, Wroclaw, Poland
Visuality and (anti)racism Conference – University of Padua, Italy
Educazione Come Pratica Artistica (Education as Artistic Practice) Museum Novecento, Florence
Performative-Lecture: Performing History, The Garrison Library, Gibraltar UK
Artists' Moving Image Practice in Britain: From 1990 to Today, conference at Whitechapel Gallery (London), organised by The Paul Mellon Centre (Yale University) in collaboration with Film London Artists' Moving Image Network and LUX
AWARDS, RESIDENCIES, COMMISSIONS
NIDA Doctoral Platform Summer School Fight the Power 2019/1989, held at the Lithuanian Pavilion and the Research Pavilion, Venice Biennale
MEAD Residency at the British School at Rome
Q International grant - La Quadriennale di Rome - with Archive Kabinett, Berlin
TECHNE Conflux: The Object of Research Residency, Cumbria Institute of the Arts, organised by Royal College of Arts, UAL, and Kingston University UK
BFI Experimenta Pitch Award, London Film Festival. Prize organised by FLAMIN (Film London Artists' Moving Image Network), in collaboration with LUX, BFI and Arts Council England
VISIO – European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images, Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival, Florence IT
Arts and Humanities Research Council / TECHNE: fully funded PhD scholarship at the University of the Arts London UK
Negotiating Amnesia included in the 2017 RAI (Royal Anthropological Institute) Film Festival's Library
A-i-R Wro Residency, Open Call Europe "Art and culture during the migration crisis in Europe in XXI century" / Wroclaw European Capital of Culture 2016 PL
Rising Star: Best Short Documentary – Negotiating Amnesia. Mende International Film Festival, Florida, USA
Artist in Residence and Film Commission - Alinari Contemporary, Florence IT. Curated by Livia Dubon Bohlig at Fondazione, Archivio Alinari
Katalogos Workshop with Basma Alsharif - ViaFarini (Milan). Organised by Little Constellation in collaboration with ViaFarini and BJCEM. Curated by Alessandro Castiglioni and Simone Frangi
A Natural Oasis Summer School in the Republic of San Marino. Organised by Little Constellation in collaboration with ViaFarini and BJCEM. Curated by Alessandro Castiglioni and Simone Frangi
SELECTED EDUCATION PROJECTS & WORKSHOPS
ART WORKS! European Culture of Resistance and Liberation. Education programme at Museion, Contemporary Art Museum, Bozen (Italy). EU project partners: wannseeFORUM (Berlin), HASENHERZ or the Pleasures of Moving Images and Words (Vienna), Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (Croatia), Center of Contemporary History Melk Memorial (Austria)
Outcross: Agromafia, Radio Activism and Crosscultural Fertilizations. Week-long workshop for hisgh school classes (alternanza), MaGa Museum of Contemporary Art, Milan IT
Week-long Workshop for post-graduate students on the Colonialità e Cultura Visivi in Italia (Coloniality and Visual Culture in Italy) at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Brera Art Academy), Milan IT
Guest Lecturer on the MA Documentary Film, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London UK
Commission for Education Project at MaGa Gallarate's Art Museum, Milan IT
Commission of 2 days masterclass at S.a.L.E. Docks Arcive-as-Method: Colonial Voices and Gazes - part of Postcolonia Italia
Radio Ghetto Relay, education programme in collaboration with Fundacja Art Transparent and A-i-R Wro, Wroclaw PL
Colonial Legacies and Visual Culture - guest lecturer at the course in Techniques of Visual Research at the University of Padua IT
Negotiating Amnesia, education programme, P.A.C. Le Murate, Florence IT
A Natural Oasis, workshop for Academy Awards students at Viafarini, with Elisa Adami, Milan IT
Seminar for MA Public History course at University of Modena IT
Family Workshop for CREATE London UK
Propeller Youth Art Forum, Chisenhale Gallery, Victoria Park commission, London UK
CONFERENCES & ROUNDTABLES ORGANISATION
Study Day at Villa Romana (Florence, Italy): Developing Postcolonial Discourse in Art Education in Italy, organised by Alessandra Ferrini and Archive Books, in collaboration with Villa Romana, Black History Month Florence and with the participation of Savvy Contemporary
Archiving Protest: from Archives of Affect to Archives of Instantaneity, Workshop, Centre for Critical Legal Thinking, University of Warwick. Co-organiser.
The Afterlives of Protest, conference at the People’s Museum, Manchester, organised by Warwick University
Between Myth and Memory: Contemporary Politics and the Performance of History, Centre for Performance and Urban Living, University of Surrey / speaker and chair
Visuality, Race and Nation in Italy: Roundtable and Book Launch, Birkbeck, University of London. Speaker and co-organiser.
Circulation, appropriation and pixelated sources. Workshop at SIMposio di storia della conflittualità sociale (Zapruder), Isola Polvese, Perugia IT
Contemporary Art, Philosophy and Politics After the Postconceptual Condition, at the University of Surrey. Funded by TECHNE/AHRC. Co-organiser.
Working with Visual Documents of Italian Colonial Heritage: a methodological exploration, Seminar at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, School of Advanced Studies, University of London. Speaker and organiser.
Artists' Moving Image Practice in Britain: From 1990 to Today, conference at Whitechapel Gallery (London), organised by The Paul Mellon Centre (Yale University) in collaboration with Film London Artists' Moving Image Network and LUX / speaker
Archives for the Future - An Art and Visual Culture Conference (University of Westminster) and screening/event at Whitechapel Gallery (Autobiography and the Archive and Journal of Visual Culture’s special ‘Archives Issue’ launch). Supported by the International Association for Visual Culture (IAVC) and the Journal of Visual Culture. Organised by Mnemoscape (Alessandra Ferrini and Elisa Adami).
Negotiating Amnesia: forme di attivazione e traduzione dell'archivio fotografico coloniale italiano. Visual essay published in: Visual (Anti)Racism, edited by InteRGRace, Padua University Publishing,
A Hospitable Encounter: A Conversation Between “Radio Ghetto Relay”
and Tahrir, Shaimaa Abdelkarim and Alessandra Ferrini, London Journal of Critical Thought, 2018 (peer reviewed, upcoming publication)
La Responsabilità di un Impero (The Responsibility of an Empire) - Simone Frangi in Conversation with Alessandra Ferrini, Flash Art Italia 335, 50th anniversary edition, November 2017. Available here.
In My Computer # 11 | Photodump: “Achieving or archiving images today?”, edited by Valeria Mancinelli, Chiara Nuzzi, Stefania Rispoli, Link Editions
Outcross, A-i-R Wro, artist publication (edition of 1000 copies)
Chapter 9, The Library: Shot/Counter-Shot, A Performative Tour of the Garrison Library by Mnemoscape, in The Voices of the Sirens, Mousse Publishing
A Tourist in Other People's Reality, exhibition catalogue, Mnemoscape Publishing
A selection of articles and interviews also appears on Mnemoscape Magazine and Mnemoscape Platform
Gaia Giuliani, Race, Gender and Nation in Modern Italy: Intersectional Representations in Visual Culture, Palgrave
Gabriele Proglio, Rimozione come archivio della memoria del colonialismo Dibattito storiografico e processi di memoria, Memoria e Ricerca, September-December issue, 2017, Il Mulino
Gabriele Proglio, L'eterna invenzione dell'altro da sé, Il Manifesto, Friday 22 September 2017
Camilla Boemio, La Quadriennale ancora protagonista. Il dibattito sulla ricerca dell’arte contemporanea in una conversazione con Simone Frangi, Exibart 1 febbraio 2017. Available here.
Valentina Celi, Italoeuropeo. La Nostalgia e l’Amnesia: le due facce del colonialismo italiano, Centro Primo Levi, New York, 2016. Available here.
Vincenzo Estremo, Generational Quadriennale, Roma 2016, Droste Effect Magazine, 4 November 2016. Available here.
Leonardo de Franceschi, Fra Rimozioni e Riscritture della Memoria, Cinemafrica, 2016. Link here.
Viviana Gravano e Giulia Grechi, Vuoti a rendere: memorie e amnesie del colonialismo italiano (Noi tutti siamo i monumenti), Roots&Routes Journal no.21, 2016. Link here.
Antonio Capellupo, NEGOTIATING AMNESIA, distorcere la storia. Published in Cinema Italiano, 30/11/2015. Link here.
56th Festival dei Popoli - International Documentary Film Festival, catalogue, 2015
MaGa Museo Arte Gallarate
Casa Testori Foundation
InteRGRace, Interdisciplinary Group on Race and Racisms (University of Padua) - core-member
Mnemoscape, Research Platform (2013-2016)