Francesco Urbano Ragazzi

LIAF 2022, Chapter I:
Something Out of It.

Pauline Curnier Jardin,
Tomaso De Luca

Giudecca Women’s Prison;
Casa Venezia.
Press Preview: Apr. 18-24, 2022

Lofoten International Art Festival preview project in Venice
curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi


LIAF—Lofoten International Art Festival is pleased to announce Something Out of It, a preview exhibition opening in conjunction with the 59th Venice Biennale. Curated by Italian duo Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, Something Out of It has been conceived as a precursory exploration of the curatorial themes set for the 30th anniversary of LIAF, temporarily uprooted from Lofoten Islands in the Arctic circle to the Venetian lagoon. The project will take place in two venues: the parlour and courtyard of a functioning women’s prison, and a private palazzo. LIAF’s preview project in Venice aims to reflect on the production of biennial events, propose a new model for inclusion and sustainability and affirm a new alliance between art and reality.

Something Out of It is produced in collaboration with CASE CHIUSE by Paola Clerico, Zuecca Projects, Rio Terà dei Pensieri, DROMe, Casablanca Studio. The project is supported by Kunsternes Hus, Centraal Museum Utrecht, EVA International, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art and the Italian Council program (X Edition) promoted by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.


PAULINE CURNIER JARDIN with Casa di Reclusione Femminile (Women’s Prison)

Location: Casa di Reclusione Femminile (women’s prison)
Giudecca, 712, 30133. Venezia, Italy.
Opening Reception: April 19, 2022, from 5–7:30pm
Further access: April 20–22, 10–12am.
>> Mandatory registration:

On April 19, 2022 LIAF unveils a permanent communal installation by artist Pauline Curnier Jardin (Marseille, France 1980) in collaboration with the inmates of the Casa di Reclusione Femminile della Giudecca, an Italian women’s prison located in the former monastery of the Convertite where around 60 inmates now live. This project is curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.

A recent winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Curnier Jardin will reimagine the prison parlour room that connects the women’s prison to the outside world, transforming it into a ritualistic space for meaningful encounters.

Reversing institutional hierarchies, the inmates have briefed and commissioned Curnier Jardin. Together, through a series of collaborative workshops and drawing sessions with the Rio Terà dei Pensieri social cooperative and the Venice-based artist collective Casablanca studio, Curnier Jardin and the group of female inmates have reshaped the parlour of the penitentiary, using projections, furniture and wall paintings. A new film by the artist—developed through the collaboration and collective script writing with inmates—will also be presented, co-produced by the Centraal Museum Utrecht.

This new project from Curnier Jardin reveals the hidden history of the monastery from the 16th to the 19th century. Recent research shows that the parlour of the religious institution was used as a stage by the nuns who occasionally performed for family and Venetian authorities. Such carnival-like performances allowed the nuns to transform, wear profane clothes and suspend the social rules that forced the women into a monastic life.

By overturning both the spectacular and exclusive logic of large-scale art events, and above all the isolation that has afflicted life in prisons during the pandemic, the work will be intended for the privileged use of the inhabitants of the detention community. The technical equipment, the objects and the signs that constitute it will be donated to the institution, so that the parlour can be used, on a permanent basis, as a hybrid space of reception.

Selected audiences will have access to the project on exclusive previews. The first audience of journalists and art professionals will be invited to enter the Casa di Reclusione della Giudecca on 19 April 2022 from 5:00pm to 7:30 pm, to participate in an extraordinary reception with Curnier Jardin and the female inmates. During the reception a DJ-set will be curated by Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo).


TOMASO DE LUCA at Casa Venezia

Location: Casa Venezia
Calle Seconda dei Orbi 5201, Castello, Venezia.
April 18-24, 2022, 10am-6pm.

Press reception: April 20-22, 9-11am.

Something Out of It, the LIAF 2022 preview programme in Venice curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, continues in the Castello district by breaking into a domestic environment. The courtyard of Casa Venezia, residence of the collectors Massimo Adario and Dimitri Borri, hosts a new video installation by Tomaso De Luca (Verona, Italy 1988). This has been produced in partnership with CASE CHIUSE by Paola Clerico.

Winner of the 2021 MAXXI Bvlgari Prize, De Luca continues his investigation into the crisis of modernism—as the promise of a functional life for all—and processes of gentrification, linked to socio-natural phenomenons, such as the AIDS epidemic or the most recent climate change.

Consisting of sculptures, photography and a video, the installation debunks the myth of comfort, transforming the house into a treacherous place. Furniture and everyday items are transformed into potentially lethal traps—the activation of such traps being shown through a visual grammar that is both threatening and comical.

De Luca’s project is inspired by a news story. In February 2019 in Philadelphia, a real estate developer escaped a guillotine device, hidden in one of his properties and designed to kill him. The artist links this news event to the consequences of climatic gentrification that is sweeping the American city. The violent act is read as an extreme and desperate attempt to resist increasingly brutal economic dynamics.