Georgetown University Art Galleries | Confluences: Intersectional Visions of Italy

By Editorial Team on January 22, 2024

Fri, January 26 2024 — Sun, April 7 2024

Valeria Cherchi
(1986, Sassari, Italy. Lives and works in Milan, Italy)
In Front of Beauty We Forgive Everything (detail) 2023–2024
Mixed media installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist
Opening: Friday, January 26 from 6-8pm

Artists: Dafne Boggeri, Valeria Cherchi, Giulia Crispiani, Maria Adele Del Vecchio, Binta Diaw, Alessandra Ferrini, Muna Mussie

The Georgetown University Art Galleries and the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington are thrilled to present Confluences: Intersectional Visions of Italy. The exhibition presents for the first time in the United States a group of artists addressing social justice issues connected to notions of Italy—which is far more complex than the single cultural, political, or social space it is commonly thought to be.

These contemporary artists counter such familiar fictions through projects that consider nuances of individual and collective experience across a variety of topics, such as colonialism, societal amnesia, gender-based biases, and civic activism.

Alessandra Ferrini’s My Heritage? (2020) questions notions of legacy and Italian identity in relation to the country’s colonial history, while Valeria Cherchi’s newly commissioned installation In Front of Beauty We Forgive Everything (2023–2024) addresses the phenomenon of kidnapping for ransom that endured for decades in her home island of Sardinia.

As Dafne Boggeri’s Tilting off the Grid (2023) sheds light on the diversity of Italy’s intellectual practices in the arena of independent publishing, Maria Adele Del Vecchio’s sculptures address issues of feminist literature.

Along another thematic axis, Giulia Crispiani’s newly commissioned work Claims & Broken Ties (2023–2024) reflects on Italy as a cultural colony cut from its Southern and Eastern kinships, while Binta Diaw’s Paysage Corporel XIV celebrates Afrodescendent resilience and empowerment. Similarly, Muna Mussie’s constellation of works addresses the relationships among language, vision, and conceptions of identity.

These and other realms flow together in an exhibition inspired by hydrofeminism, a theoretical framework that regards all beings as bodies of water, interconnected and interdependent. The artists share commitments to linguistic exploration, critical thinking, research, and intersectionality—which recognizes how individual identities are shaped by factors such as race, gender, and nationality in unique ways that can both oppress and empower. As in a water system, their work can be regarded as diverse currents flowing toward one purpose: the affirmation of complex personal and historical narratives that challenge stereotypical understandings of Italy.

The project is curated by Ilaria Conti and organized by the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington in collaboration with Georgetown University Art Galleries.

An Opening Reception will take place on Friday, January 26th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Registration for this event is not required, and all exhibitions and programs at the Georgetown University Art Galleries are free and open to the public. View more information on our website.

Georgetown University Art Galleries
3535 Prospect St NW