Exhibitions - Piazza Universale/Social Stages

Marinella Senatore
Piazza Universale/Social Stages

04.09.17 – 07.30.17

A black graphic with collaged, white, stylized images of people at protests and their signs. The protest signs include phrases like “come together, “the struggle continues”, and “la revolución es poder para el pueblo”.

Image: Marinella Senatore, Protest Forms, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Laveronica, Modica

The Queens Museum is proud to host the first show initiated by an American museum by Italian artist Marinella Senatore. Piazza Universale / Social Stages, curated by Matteo Lucchetti, introduces the multifaceted practice of Senatore by looking at a range of important recent projects created in Spain, France, Italy and the US between 2009 and today.


Piazza universale—“the universal square”—refers to the exquisitely Italian concept of the piazza, a public space par excellence where different communities meet, and as an embodiment of an ideal, universal space where future communities can be envisioned collaboratively. The title Piazza Universale/Social Stages presents one Italian and one English phrase as if the second were a translation of the former. But the second is not a translation of the first. This gap is where the exhibition unfolds, in its attempt to translate or transform the artist’s live, participatory and community-engaged projects which unfolded in Europe and elsewhere into a new and unique experience within the Queens Museum galleries. In doing so, the galleries themselves turn into theatre, cinema, or television production sets, or a setting for poetry or dance class, offering the works of Senatore as “stages for” and “stages of” a collective social becoming—tools for individual growth and collective empowerment.


Senatore’s art is characterized by public participation. Everyone can take part in the artist’s works, which simultaneously question her role as an author and that of the public as the receiver. Starting with the dialogue between individual stories, collective cultures and social structures, Senatore uses a broad spectrum of media: video, drawing, performance, installation, photography, sound, painting and sculpture, in order to let her projects speak to multiple publics and contexts.


Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration: Part II, an hour and a half long public performance inside the museum and outside in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, kicks off the exhibition on April 9. This performance involves over 320 participants from many different creative worlds. From spoken word artists to an Afro-Colombian bullerengue group to a LGBTQ symphonic band to a chorus made up of union members to representatives from important activist groups, Protest Forms is dedicated to the past and present civic struggles of New York City communities. Queens Anthem, an original music score composed by Emiliano Branda, is based on an open call to Queens residents to submit sonic memories of their borough and the protest songs related to their communities. It will premiere as part of the larger performance.



You can hear the instrumental version of the piece here:



Queens Anthem
Music by Emiliano Branda in collaboration with residents of Queens
Concept by Marinella Senatore


Marinella Senatore (b. 1977, Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy) has exhibited at numerous international venues including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Queens Museum, NY; Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris; Faena Art Forum, Miami; Kunsthaus Zurich; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; High Line, NY; Kunsthalle, Sankt Gallen; 54th Venice Biennale, Illuminations; MAXXI Museum, Rome; Whitechapel, London; Quadriennale, Rome; Lyon Biennial; Bozar, Brussels; Liverpool Biennial; Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Tel Aviv; Para/Site, Hong Kong; Istanbul Modern; Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, Turin; Serpentine Gallery, London; ISCP, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art,Chicago; Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm.



Senatore won the prestigious MAXXI Prize in 2014. She lectured at international venues and institutions, such as the Guggenheim Museum, NY; Creative Time Summit, NY and Venice; Spike Island, Bristol; ICA, London; Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris; NYU, Berlin; ERG, Brussels; University of Madrid; University of Granada; University of Turin; Beursschouwburg, Brussels; Academy of Fine Arts, Mechelen; NABA New Academy of Fine Arts, Milan; Kunstverein Ar/Ge Kunst, Bolzano.



Matteo Lucchetti (b. 1984, Sarzana, Italy) is a curator, art historian, and writer. He is curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. His curatorial projects include: De Rerum Rurale, 16th Rome Quadriennale, Rome, 2016; Don’t Embarrass the Bureau, Lunds Konsthall, Lund, 2014; Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2012; and Practicing Memory, Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, 2010. Since 2010, Lucchetti also has co-directed, with Judith Wielander, the Visible project, a research endeavor and the first European biennial award devoted to socially engaged artistic practices in a global context. He has organized and taken part in several seminars, talks, and debates at various institutions, such as the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; Steirischer Herbst, Graz; and the Centre for Historical Reenactments, Johannesburg. He lectured as a guest professor at HISK, Gent; Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam; Sint Lucas Antwerpen, Antwerp; and Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, and contributed to magazines such as Mousse Magazine, Journal, and Art Agenda.




Special thanks to our collaborators and co-producers at Fondazione La Quadriennale di Roma.


Marinella Senatore: Piazza Universale / Social Stages is made possible by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Global Strategy Group, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, with vital individual support from Richard Birns, Annette Blum, Tom & Libbie Botts, Conrad Branson, Mark & Katie Coleman, Holcombe & Monica Green, Leo & Patti Hindery, Anya Hoerburger, Peter & Kirsten Kern, Doug & Sarah Luke, Katy Rice, and Bill Wachtel.


Exhibitions at the Queens Museum receive significant support from Ford Foundation and the Charina Endowment Fund. Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Lambent Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, The Kupferberg Foundation, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.


Significant in-kind support for this exhibition is provided by Danilo Correale and Shadi Harouni, Fratelli Parisi, Galleria Laveronica, Candice and Carl Koerner, Sheraton LaGuardia East, and Silvercup Studios. We are also grateful to Collezione Fabio Frasca and Private Collection Margherita Ligure for lending exhibition objects.