There She Lies Motionless
Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich
with Hamish MacPherson
An exercise in compassion, vulnerability and power, sitting somewhere between, workshop, performance and the every day practice of giving and receiving care. Loosely based on the work and life of Caroline Thomas, a woman who has simulated illnesses for over 30 years as a part of her volunteering commitment to the Casualties Union.
Exhibition Risk ( Associate curator)
Turner Contemporary, Margate
Turner Contemporary presents the first major UK exhibition to explore risk and art. Featuring more than 70 works from the mid-20th century to the present day, the exhibition brings together artworks and artistic practices that engage directly with risk. From chance procedures to political risk; from dangerous experiences to the culture of risk, the exhibition features works by major international artists including Marina Abramović, Francis Alÿs, Chim↑Pom
Chris Burden, Sophie Calle, Jeremy Deller, Marcel Duchamp, Harun Farocki, Yoko Ono, Gerhard Richter and Ai Weiwei among others. Curated by Turner Contemporary in association with Francesca Cavallo
Art Matters: At Risk symposium
What can art reveal about the strategies we adopt towards risk and its constant assessment and management in the wider contemporary world?
Organised in collaboration with the Department of History and Philosophy of Art, Kent University. Chaired and introduced by Francesca Cavallo ( Risk associate curator) and Martin Hammer (Kent University). Speakers include: Michael Guggenheim (Goldsmiths),
Margaret Iversen, (University of Essex), Matthew Kieran (University of Leeds), Peter Kennard (artist), Ele Carpenter (Goldsmiths), Claire Fontaine, (artist collective) & Hillel Schwartz (poet and cultural historian).
Round table: Pre-enactment between reality and fiction Fig-2 22/50 ICA
From ﬁre drills and mock-disaster-response exercises, to the risk assessment processes accompanying so many events, structures and even ‘high-risk’ people, a pre-enactment is the anticipation of future disasters through performance, a coping mechanism of society increasingly concerned with the predictable future. The panel will explore the cogency of reality and fiction in risk management strategies. Chaired and introduced by Francesca Cavallo
(curator), with Helene Kazan (artist) and Caroline Thomas (Casualties Union). Part of Luna Talks: Uncertainty Scenarios, a project by artist Marjolijn Dijkman for Fig-2
Rehearsing the Disaster
Royal College of Art, London
Probing the contemporary manifestations and possibilities of pre-enactment, independent curator Francesca Laura Cavallo presents a talk illustrated with screening of films by Rosa Barba, Lucy Beech, Simon Faithfull and Superflex. Hosted by METALAB (Emily Candela and Maya Hoppenheimer), as a part of the public programme of the Disruption exhibition.
Is this a Warning?
Shoreditch Studios, London
Art, music, performance for one night only. Showcasing revolutionary new theories and methods, T.R.I.A.L. proposes a participatory strategy for the provision of increased risk reduction public awareness activities. A cosmicmegabrain project in collaboration with Hoxton Loft Society. Works by Lucy Beech, Luciano Foglia, Ben Fowler, Patrick Goddard, Fantich & Young, Emer O’Brien, Solina Hi-Fi and Jim Woodall .
Does Dark Matter?
Shoreditch Studios, London
Leading figures at T.R.I.A.L. have announced that they are now only 1% uncertain that they have discovered something which very possibly could be the elusive science particle, first theorised as a possibility by leading hypotheticians. A cosmicmegabrain project in collaboration with NTS radio. Works by Bálint Bolygó, Emily Candela, Ronin Cho, Davide D’Elia, Roberto Ekholm, Goodbye Leopold, Andy Holden, Janina Lange, Romvelope, Aura Satz and Semiconductor.
Rua Poco dos Negros, Lisbon
An iconic Lisbon street is filled with art, music and performance for the second edition of the festival taking over its shop windows, empty spaces and cultural venues. Over 30 international artists selected from a public call by cosmicmegabrain in collaboration with Hayward Gallery Curator Gillian Fox and independent Lisbon based art critic Susana Pomba.
Cosmicmegabrain ( 2007 - 2012)
London, Lisbon, Rome, Beirut
Founded in late 2007 by Jesse O Wade, Francisca Aires and Francesca Cavallo, Cosmicmegabrain have curated and produced a number of collaborative art projects in the UK and abroad. Initially formed after an invitation to organise creative projects at Cordy House, a disused warehouse in Shoreditch, East London, CMB has worked with Artists, Designers, Musicians, Dancers and Scientists to produce one-night-only curated events with a strong emphasis on public participation. See separate website
Exhibition: Letizia Battaglia,
Cinemateca Uruguaya, Montevideo
The exhibition Sicilia en Blanco y Negro brings to the Uruguayan audience 40 images of events, facts and protagonists of the history of the Mafia and of its legacy in its bloodiest years, which Letizia Battaglia (Eugene Smith Prize 1986) took over the course of her career as a photojournalist: documents of invaluable importance reflecting a Sicilian society constantly divided between life and death, always struggling to achieve an elusive peace. Curated by Francesca Cavallo and Lucas Caravia with the support of the Italian Institute of Culture in Montevideo. Part of the 25th International Film Festival.
Exhibition: Chiba Abnormal
Andersen Museum, Rome
Three monumental toy-like creatures inhabit the former house of the sculptor Hendrik Christian Andersen (1872 – 1940), in homage to the artist’s unrealised dream to conceive the ultimate idealised beauty. New works by Chiba curated by Francesca Cavallo and commissioned by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities in partnership with Universita’ la Sapienza, Rome. Master MACMAC’s Oltreconfine curatorial award 2006.
Corinne Silva: Garden State
Ffotogallery and The Mosaic Rooms, London
Since 1967, Israel has pursued a policy of building settlements on the West Bank and around the Green Line, in what the united nation call the Israeli Occupied Territories. As a part of the endless dispute with Palestinians over this contested land, an increasing
number of new communities have emerged, promoted by the government for Israeli
people to inhabit the Palestinian land...
Sharon Hayes: In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You
Studio Voltaire, London
In her talk at London Studio Voltaire, Sharon Hayes reads from an anonymous 1974 newsletter by the Pennsylvania activist group Radical Queens. As the sound of her video
installation has been temporarily turned down, her voice reverberates in the room bouncing between her mouth and the plywood panel at her left, where characters on screens are also reading something we can’t hear.
Enrico David at the Hepworth Wakefield
There is a substantial difference between the two ambiences that compose Enrico David’s exhibition at the Hepworth Gallery. As I move from one room to the next, small figures on plinths and papers migrate into the space I share with them, almost liberated from their state of latency to become bodies, space markers, creatures half submerged in their own dimension.
Published January 2016
Review: Hengameh Golestan: Witness 1979 at the Showroom
Honest and immediate, Golestan’s photographs are intrinsically and ethically entrenched in the story they portray: they reconnect to a joyous Iran where people exercise their freedom of expression proudly and harbour hope for a future democracy. An Iran that had no intention of giving up those rights, but that for some still uncanny, complicated reason was just about to be turned into one of the most conservative countries in the world.
Further Reading +
Published Dec 2015
Report: 25 Weeks of fig -2
Embracing the Unpredictable
As fig-2 reaches its halfway point, writer Francesca Cavallo reflects on the first 25 weeks of the project, exploring how its strength lies in its unpredictability.
In the overwhelming panorama of intellectually stimulating events in London and the inescapable FOMOthat keeps us hooked, I am captured by the steady paced, weekly re-embodiment of the ICA Studio. I keep going back to fig-2, every Monday if I can, to find one more iteration of Fatos Ustek’s take on the London art scene.
Review: Willem de Rooij, Arnolfini, Bristol. Camera Austria. Issue 129
Filtered by expert editors, the images that we see everyday in the international newspapers are mediated immortalisations of our collective experience of the world: they form a repertoir of human gestures, expressions and emotions. Hisorically and politically connoted, they also vibrate with an aura of timelessness in the sence that they reiterate ad infinitum similar sequences of acts, dramas, and representations.
Published on March 2015
Review: Last Seen Entering the Biltmore, South London Gallery
In 15th and 16th century Europe (with the proliferation of the Mannerist style, and after with the Baroque) real life must have seemed to be very much like a parade. It was the triumph of the façade: trompe l’oeil, ephemeral stages, arches of triumph, were not just functional to theatres and parades, but had permeated into the domestic spaces of houses and palazzos in the form of grandiose doors or fireplaces and canopied furniture.
Published on 21 July 2014
Report: Amy Franceschini workshop for Situations, Liverpool Biennial
A bakery may not be the quietest place for a workshop, but it has that factory-like feeling that stimulates conversation and productivity. Plus it sets the perfect scene for a discussion on public art: at Homebaked in Liverpool, the act of breadmaking becomes a metaphor for resilience and the importance of art in everybody’s life. Participants from across the UK came together to discuss strategies of public art and learn from the experience of two art projects that have used bread making as a response to urban development.
Further Reading +
Published on 31 July 2014
Rehearsing the Disaster, Critical Contemporary Culture, III Crisis
Risk Assessment booklet developed from an intervention for Disruption, an exhibition at the RCA in Jan 2013. In collaboration with METALAB I invited a group of writers to use specially-designed risk assessment forms to ‘risk assess’ various pieces in the exhibition, where each booklet was installed alongside its respective work.Conceived as a para-artistic artwork to hijack and disrupt an event, the booklet documents a creative writing experiment which inhabits the imaginative fictions that orbit our consideration and anticipation of risk. ( Nov 2013) Further Reading +
Review: Aura Satz at Paradise Row, London.
The echoes of remote technological inventions, encrypted messages and a sense of arcane ventriloquism form the grammar of Aura Satz’s work. In some of her films, out-dated machines sound like haunted creations, whose material elements have lost their function and are left as bare mechanisms, portals for unknown messages.
Published on 9 November 2013
Article: Re-reading the Classics
Cura. Issue 08
It hardly made the news in Italy, but in London, where I live, news have reported of a Roman statue which has undergone cosmetic surgery. I couldn't help but reading it with a mixture of anger and sinister amusement. References to the work of Oliver Larich, Alfredo Jaar among others. Text in Italian with English translation.
Review: Sarah Sze, Victoria Miro, London.
Sara Sze’s micro universes have captured us with maximal installations like ‘Triple Point’, seen at the American Pavilion in Venice in 2013. My impression then was that something like a lo-fi extra-terrestrial, with an intricate scaffolding of wires, tools, clamps and ladders had blown in with the wind and crashed on the neo-Palladian pavilion.
Perhaps the effect of an accident, the fake stones on the roof almost caricatured the precarious balance holding the structure together.
Published on 9 March 2015
Review: Debora Delmar Corp, Modern Art Oxford
The symbiosis between art and corporations has a long, multifaceted history, from Warhol’s Coca Cola cans to mass-produced Hirst multiples, this cross-fertilization has always been controversial but not necessarily subversive. Noteworthy are Richard Prince’s re-photographs of the Marlboro’s campaign in the ’80s and ‘90s - his images cut out the cigarettes logos turning the melancholic cowboys into ironic caricatures of the American dream.
Published on 24 April 2015
Review: Venice Biennale 2013 / oO
Pavilions of Cyprus and Lithuania
Just outside the Arsenale in Venice is the Palasport ‘Giobatta Gianquinto’, a modernist 1970s piece of concrete architecture built to host any sort of sports activity. It is the 31st of May and the air is full of euphoria, just as it is before a sports competition. The smell as well, I can recognise: it reminds me of the gymnasiums where I, like many other Italians of my generation, have practiced athletics, volleyball or basketball, the openness of the space and the high ceiling contained only by concrete walls and surmounted by circular neon lights.
Review: Rosa Barba, Turner Contemporary, Margate
Just as contemporary art commissions are being welcomed into traditional spaces, so too are the old masters finding homes in the midst of the contemporary art world, as seen at last year’s Frieze Masters. This approach begins to reconcile the apparent divorce between historical and contemporary art, opening up both to new reflections.
In Conversation with Haris Epaminonda, Cura. Issue 06
Haris Epaminoda's exhibtion Volume VI at TATE Modern (Level 2 Gallery) invites a reconfiguration of what we usually associate with museums: history, preservation, individual and collective memory. Text in English and Italian.
On Art and Crisis.
In times of crisis like the one just narrowly escaped (so it would seem) it easy to start blaming the art market, social injustice and art being only for the rich. It may make more sense to concentrate on the market, stretch its self referential matter and turn it into critical consciousness. Text in Italian with English translation with reference to the work of Superflex, Stephanie Syjuco.
In Conversation with Sissi,
Cura. Issue 01
Interview with Sissi in regards to her participation in the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennial, 2009. Text in Italian with English translation by Orsola Mileti.
Panel: Cultural Capital
MiAL- UAL Student Union
The term cultural capital refers to non-financial social assets that promote social mobility beyond economic means.In this talk, we will be discussing the cultural capital of emerging art and design and its own value within London outside of the economy. With Lydia Cowpertwait, Simon Hinde and
Saturday 30th April 2016
Research Methods Workshop, London College of Communication
A Risk themed lecture/workshop designed for the Masters in Media Design Students at LCC. It includes working around theoretical notions and interpretations of risk, from risk communication, to risk assessment, as much as experimenting with various research tools and exercises borrowed from the contemporary risk imaginary .
a para Artistic Work
Metalab / RCA
The workshop experiments with the proximity between risk assessment and fiction writing by inviting participants to “risk assess“ selected works of an exhibition by filling in purposely designed risk assessment forms.
Final Day of Risk
Herne Bay High School/ Turner Contemporary
Boy’s Dance Company from Herne Bay High School showcase a new dance piece, inspired by the work and history of Margate’s RNLI Lifeboat station and crew situated next to the gallery. The students have worked in collaboration with the RNLI and Associate Curator of Risk Francesca Cavallo.
Life is Spiky
Creative Space at Arlington
[ s p a c e ]
Taking the cactus as an existential inspiration Life is Spiky invites residents of an homeless hostel to produce vases and containers for little cactai to be sold in a small social justice campaign at Christmas.
Oct to Dec 2014
Develop your own work
Creative Space at Arlinghton [ s p a c e ]
A series of workshops for clients of mental health organisations designed to stimulate creativity via the understanding of art ( include guided tours to exhibitions in London)
Jan to Mar 2015
Performing the Every Day
13A Hostel \ RADA
A series of workshops with final performance and Q+A at RADA devising ensemble work around the themes of Memory, Food and Abjection with the residents of CUC Hostel in Soho. A project coordinated by myself and lead by Jessie Vickerage for her thesis dissertation at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
British Council/People Can
In partnership with the British Council, delivering and facilitating Active Citizens, a programme that supports people taking action as citizens.
Francesca Laura Cavallo is an independent curator, writer and researcher based in London. Since 2011 she is engaged in the long term project Rehearsing the Disaster which concerns with pre-disaster scenarios and the proximity between risk assessments, fiction writing and art. As a part of this project she was recently awarded a GTA scholarship by the University of Kent to study a PHD on the aesthetics of risk . Previously she worked as the Associate Curator for the exhibition Risk (Turner Contemporary, ended January 2016) and as researcher for the European Research Council funded project Organising Disaster: civil protection and the population (Goldsmith College, London). She free lance writes for various publications and blogs, which have included Camera Austria, This it Tomorrow, Cura, Public Art (NOW), Critical Contemporary Culture, Exibart.
Francesca has worked as an exhibition organiser at MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, at Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal and the Pavilion of Cuba at the 55th Venice Biennial. Previous curatorial projects include the exhibition Abnormal at the Andersen Museums in Rome, the Art festival CF2 in Puglia (Italy) and Letizia Battaglia’s solo show in Montevideo (Uruguay). In 2007 she co-founded the art collective Cosmicmegabrain and has since than produced several projects including shows in Beirut (98weeks Research project), Lisbon (Manpower Festival), Rome (MACRO Testaccio) and London (Shoreditch Studios). She has lead workshops for [ s p a c e ], the University of the Arts London, and the Royal College of Art; her socially engaged practice has included coordinating the programmes Building Local Activism with the Young Foundation and Active Citizens with the British Council.
Camera Austria International
fig -2 (Outset)
London College Of Communication
Royal College of Art
[ s p a c e ]
This is Tomorrow
University of the Arts London (Student Union)