Francesco Urbano Ragazzi


Oratorio di San Ludovico, Venice
Oct. 29 2011

Curated by Francesco Ragazzi & Francesco Urbano, Vittorio Urbani.
in collaboration with Elisa Genna.


After having promoted the mobility of the Arab artists, through agreements allowing them to work across Europe with Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Delfina Foundation in London, the Emirates Foundation of Abu Dhabi has added Venice, Italy, to the list of its destinations. Here a residency program has been launched and curated by the Associazione E, in collaboration with Nuova Icona.
Starting on the 21st of September and for the 6 weeks after, the young artist Alaa Edris (Sharjah 1985) was able to develop her own research, comparing herself with the historical, social and cultural context of Veneto’s main city. Was this a “mission impossible”, considering the complexity of the lagoon territory? Definitely not, because the artist was helped by a cross-disciplinary team, brought together just for her. Not only the curators of the Associazione E Francesco Ragazzi and Francesco Urbano took part in the project, but also the director of Nuova Icona Vittorio Urbani, the Islam scholar Ida Zilio Grandi (Ca’ Foscari University), and the expert on Byzantine history Anna Calia – scholarship holder from the Scuola Superiore di Studi Storici (Università di S. Marino). But this is not everything: this program benefits from the consultancy and the supervision of Salwa Mikdadi, director of the Arts & Culture Department of the Emirates Foundation and one of the most expert scholar in the Arabic Contemporary Art area: the curatorship of the first Palestinian pavilion in the Biennale in Venice along with publications like New Vision: Arab Contemporary Art of the 21st Century were hers.
Alaa Edris was hosted by the Centro Vittore Branca in San Giorgio island; here she could access the enormous collection of books and photos owned by the Foundation Giorgio Cino Onlus, and establish links with researchers and experts of other disciplines.
The results of her time on the island have been presented in an exhibition titled “Same age”, that she inaugurated on Saturday the 29th of Octobet 2011. The exhibition took the shape of a double solo show: as a matter of fact, for the duration of the program, Alaa Edris worked together with Valentina Roselli, an artist from Turin, based in Venice.
Through their cooperation, two anthropological ways of interpretation converge, making it impossible to distinguish between the researcher and the researched.
The outlined mobility program is not only venetian however, and during the 6 weeks of residence, two trips have been organised, one to Rome and one to Milan. These trips have further widened perspectives on Italian and European visual culture. Visits to exhibitions and to ancient and contemporary art treasures, have taken place, alongside meetings with artists, curators and experts in the field. Some of the main Italian realities of contemporary art opened their doors to the artist: Via Farini and DOCVA, Hangar Bicocca, Prada foundation, Marconi foundation and Galleria Giò Marconi, Villa Medici, the Swiss Institute in Rome, Pastifcio Cerere foundation, Nomas foundation, Giuliani foundation amongst many more.

UNDO.NET 2Video: Consono. Alaa Edris and Valentina Roselli