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Unsettling Genealogies 

video installation, 2024 

Unsettling Genealogies is an articulated and multifaceted project, a critical investigation into the history of Italian cultural institutions initiated in 2020. The investigations focus on the colonial and fascist origins of some institutions and their founders, combining personal insights and stories with historical and theoretical reflections, in an attempt to emphasize the affective dimension of history. Unsettling Genealogies interweaves a series of family stories with an investigation of colonial history, social class, European imperialism, and the fascist legacy.


The work takes as its starting point a photograph depicting Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, an Italian entrepreneur and politician, at the opening of the Third Venice International Film Festival held in 1935. In this edition of the festival, the Volpi Cup was introduced, awarded to the best actress and actor, which was named after Volpi di Misurata, then president of the Venice Biennale and a leading figure of the Fascist National Party, who had also served as finance minister for Mussolini. The Volpi Cup is still awarded today, despite bearing the name of an Italian Fascist politician.

The installation realised for Museo Novecento (Florence) consists of two rooms both inspired by this archival photograph. The first room recalls a domestic space, in which the visitors are encouraged to sit and consult different reading materials. The second room features large reproductions of archival images of institutional spaces. It includes the video, which is entirely shot within the installation.

Curated by Daphne Vitali at Museo Novecento, Florence.

Music by Marco Baldini, camera work by Simone Petracchi, audio mixing by Francesco Toninelli.

Dowload the exhibition text.

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