About A Natural Oasis?
A Natural Oasis? is a two year nomadic, free school dedicated to the development of new curatorial research paths in the field of contemporary visual and performing arts starting from the geopolitical peculiarities of the artistic landscapes of those European territories which are commonly considered remote, marginal, small, insular or liminal.
The purpose of this project is to build a transnational cultural platform able to critically question the ideas of territorial remoteness/marginality/smallness/insularity through the lense of artistic research, triggering a reflection on the fictional procedures that empowered the idea of Europe in its geopolitical and cultural immunity via the exclusion or the vampirization of its “provinces”. The project aims to develop radical curatorial and artistic discourses assuming geo-cultural areas as polemical fields in which a precise ecology of fluxes describe their cultural, economical and political morphology. Moreover, this project focuses on the controversial shortage of cultural professionals in “peripheral” cultural and artistic systems in relationship with on-going processes of educational centralization and with the concentration of artistic legitimation processes in big European ‘centres’.
A Natural Oasis? is a transnational research training based on the tools that social sciences provide to contemporary cultural practices and develops specific context-aware professional figures in the frame of a global contemporary artistic scene. The aim of the project is the development of what we can call situated practices in the context of a specific locality but with a transnational perspective. A Natural Oasis? bases its working methodology on the tactics of conversational and dialogical research and on the main strategies of oral history. In this view, work sessions, visiting professors’ lectures and seminars will be characterized by a discursive approach based on study and in-depth analysis but also on storytelling and more fluid transmission of diverse knowledges. The project privileges an idea of knowledge production through direct experience and travelling experiences in the territories, accompanied and tutored by local partners. The first edition of A Natural Oasis? took place between 2013 and 2015, the second edition between 2016 and 2017 and most recently, the third edition of A Natural Oasis? brought about the development of the curatorial concept of School of Waters and was appointed as the curatorial board of the Meditarranea 19.
FIELD RESEARCH - Manifesta 12Palermo, Italy
The curatorial board, together with the two senior curators Alessandro Castiglioni and Simone Frangi, started their research as A Natural Oasis?, within the framework of Manifesta 12 which took place in Palermo in 2018. The two-day seminar was included in the collateral events of Manifesta Biennial. The seminar was hosted in partnership with Viasaterna Gallery (Milan) in its temporary space CASINO PALERMO situated in the heart of the historic Kalsa neighbourhood that brings together exhibition events and residencies in the dimension of the on-going atelier, planned and curated by the gallery.
ON INSULARITY - UKYA City TakeoverNottingham Contemporary, UK
A one-day seminar and sharing session within the framework of UKYA City Takeover 2019 between A Natural Oasis? in collaboration with Carolina Rito, Head of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary and in partnership with Nottingham Trent University. On Insularity focused on the relationship between institutions, education formats and the curatorial as well as on the idea of a “post-Brexit insularity” and on how it could affect cultural and artistic production in UK and in Europe.
BODIES OF WORK - DanceHouse FestivalLimassol Municipal Arts Center, Cyprus
BOW - Body of Work is a research program developed by A Natural Oasis?‘s head curators together with Alexis Vassiliou, director of DanceHouse Lemesos based on performative and discoursive practices. Bodies of Work included movement workshops, discussions and performances. On this occasion, the members of A Natural Oasis? participated in the activities and engaged with the artists to learn from them and broaden their understanding of performative practices, further contributing to their curatorial research.
Participating artists: Korallia Stergides (Cyprus/UK), Milka Delibasic (Montenegro/China), Christy El Khoury (Lebanon), Hamid Waheed (Norway), Enrico Floriddia (Sicily/France), Ahmad Al Rayyan (Syria/Switzerland), Corinne Mazzoli (Italy), Eleftheria Panousi (Germany/Greece), Christos Mouchas (Greece), Kostantinos Kotsis (Greece), Michael Scerbo (Italy/Netherlands).
FIELD RESEARCH - Galleria NazionaleSan Marino
The last step of the research is dedicated to San Marino and the study of the specific identity and cultural background of the hosting city of Mediterranea 19. The research activity, organized with Galleria Nazionale San Marino and its Performative Archive, led to the discovery of the specificy of the historical center, “Città”, the history of San Marino contemporary art and the complexity of its cultural, social, historical and political balance.