July 1 - September 4, 2022, Tuesday to Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Pavilion 9a, Pavilion 9b

Pavilion 9a, Pavilion 9b

SEDIMENTS. After Memory is curated by SPAZIO GRIOT, promoted by Azienda Speciale Palaexpo / Mattatoio, with the support of GUCCI as main sponsor.
Other partners have joined on this journey: Museo delle Civiltà, American Academy in Rome, British School at Rome, British Council, Orbita | Spellbound
The exhibition is curated by Johanne Affricot and Eric Otieno Sumba

Admission free

Constant mobility and rapid change in relationships, identities, global affairs and daily life are now an unmistakable part of our lives. Reality seems unable to keep any course for long. Dramatic change is always imminent, training us on the provisional rather than the permanent. Over two decades ago, Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman used the term "liquid modernity" to describe our restless times. Bauman rejected the idea that the postmodern period had arrived, arguing instead that  modernity was intact and that, in its contemporary or "liquid" manifestation, change was the only permanence, and uncertainty the only certainty. To be alive today, two decades later, is to go with the flow or risk drowning. Yet, beneath the liquid’s surface, things linger in the countercurrent, while others are refined by sedimentation on their descent to the bottom. As the currents change  and steadily proceed, sediments remain, bearing witness to the turbulence above them. SEDIMENTS. After Memory interrogates this granular witness, probing four hallmarks of liquid  modernity; thwarted revolutions, postcolonial subjectivities, empty consumerism and precarious citizenship. Testing Jean-Baptiste A. Karr’s platitude ("the more things  change, the more they stay the same") against our hypermodern realities, this exhibition agitates the solo/group exhibition distinction, approaching the works in the show as thematic chapters or episodes of a whole. The exhibition offers multiple perspectives that link Cameroon, Eritrea, Italy, Puerto Rico  and Rwanda in the studious exploration of pertinent socio-political and aesthetic issues. SEDIMENTS. After Memory is an investigation filtered through the distinct artistic practices of  Victor Fotso Nyie (Suspended identities), Muna Mussie (ጎዳና  ቦሎኛ | اینولوب عراش | Bologna St. 173 (Riverberi Roma), Las  Nietas de Nonó (Foodtopia: después de todo territorio), and Christian Offman (Barocco). In yet another turbulent phase of modern history that brings fundamental change in the hy permodern (dis)order of the world we are encouraged to ask, what will remain?




Victor Fotso Nyie


Victor Fotso Nyie’s sculptures intervene in the contemporary perception of African sculptural forms. Triggered by the global and commercial ubiquity of stylised African masks, Fotso Nyie’s own sculptures mimic the features of the Black  body but allegorise the alienation of contemporary African  subjectivities by the use of surrealist and speculative inflections. Transcending ongoing debates around restitution of  African material culture, Identità Sospese (Suspended Identities) is at once aesthetic as it is material, concerned both with a new artistic language as well as with a rehabilitation and repair of historic sculptural renderings that have a long lineage in many African countries, including in the artist’s own (Cameroon). Fotso Nyie strategically deploys a specific formalism that acts as a repository of supernatural forces and energies. In this installation, the sculptures may appear relatable by their hyper-realism, but also alienating by their fantastic features. For Fotso Nyie, Suspended Identities is grounded in the alienation of contemporary African identities exemplified by the perpetual anathema of restitution of African material culture that was pilfered during colonialism. Yet, as current examples show, a simple return of some objects does little to repair the destroyed connection to epistemological references that African sculptural practices are rooted in. Fotso-Nyie responds to this challenge by creating sculptural witnesses that are contemporary while borrowing and carrying forward African figurative forms.

Victor Fotso Nyie (Cameroon, 1990) is a multidisciplinary artist, he lives and works in Faenza. After earning the Higher Technician Diploma for the design and prototyping of ceramics at the Tonito Emiliani Higher Techni- cal Institute in Faenza, he graduated from the Ravenna Academy of Fine Arts in 2017 and went on to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna for sculpture. The core of his artistic research is the condition of the contemporary African man, alienated and wounded by an unfinished past of enslavement and exploitation. His solo exhibitions include: Quella terra tra le mani, Galleria comunale d’Arte di Faenza (2022), Radici aeree, Le Scuole, Pieve di Cento (2022), Memoriae, Off Gallery, Bologna (2022), Resilienza, Museo MAGA, Gallarate (2021), Museo Carlo Zauli, Faenza (2021), Rimembranza, Palazzo Turchi di Bagno, Ferrara (2021). In 2022 he takes part in Una Boccata d’Arte. 20 artisti 20 borghi 20 regioni, supported by Fondazione Elpis, in collaboration with Galleria Continua.

Muna Mussie     


In የቦሎኛ ጎዳና  | عراش اینولوب | Bologna St. 173 (Riverberi Roma) the artist evokes the Eritrean Festival Gatherings that, between 1974 and 1991, hosted thousands of Eritreans from all over the world in Bologna in support of the fight for Eritrean independence. 
Mussie’s work is an immersion into the iconography of struggle, only to haunt it with the present. The raised fist and outstretching arm, the ever-present sun – that rising rainbow semicircle, ever-shining poster-art symbol of a dawn to rise, is fluoresced with a sensibility of contemporaneity, highlighted with alternating silver scotch tape and party-streamers. Except, these party tapes are printed with vorticist dazzle patterns, ubiquitously adopted as the pattern of camouflage on military uniforms. Mussie’s work is constructed from these ambiguities and gaps between meaning. Not unalike her voice, a terse poetry of abbreviations which splutter out, like the pop of the popcorn hitting tin-lid-covers. It is her fluorescent aesthetics, that chooses to brandish a kitschy inelegant popcorn machine across her installation, spewing the room with a thousand bullets of corn (Zasha Colah, Sigla/Sigillo, 2022).
With this installation, Mussie stages the concept of a transitory and precarious home. On display in the space are numerous netsela, a typical white cotton gauze fabric, which are embroidered with the initials of the many movements that were born during the Eritrean resistance. Netselas are used traditionally by Eritrean women in various daily events and occasions: they provide shelter from the sun, and from the cold, they surround the head or cover the shoulders, they make a home and are on display to redefine an affective, political geography and its historical legacy. For Bologna St. 173 (Riverberi Roma), the artist introduces a new element: a video of the festival in loop, accompanied by the story of a young Eritrean woman who lived in Bologna St. in Asmara.
Muna Mussie (Eritrea, 1978, lives and works in Bologna) began her artistic career in 1998, as actress/performer with Teatrino Clandestino until 2001. Muna Mussie’s work investigates the performing arts and the scenic languages through gesture, visual and words, to give shape to the tension that arises between different expressive poles. Recent performances and installations include: PERSONA (2022), Bientôt l’été (2021), PF DJ (2021), Oblio (2021), Curva Cieca (2021), Curva (2019), Oasi (2018), Milite Igno- to (2015). Other exhibitions include: Bologna St. 173, Archives sites, Milano (2021), Punteggiatura (2018).

Las Nietas De Nonó    

For the artist duo Las Nietas de Nonó, theatre, perfor- mance, interventions and everyday life converge in processes that are anchored in the biographies of siblings mulowayi and mapenzi nonó. The siblings transformed their grandfather’s former home in Barrio San Antón, Puerto Rico into Patio Taller (2011-2019), a community art space and internation- al artists residency that galvanised the community’s rhythms of work, leisure, and production. This impulse is documented in their film FOODTOPIA: después de todo territorio (2020), which could be read as a nascent critique of the sensory dis- connect between the modern consumer and the food that keeps them alive on one hand, and the natural environment that provides it on the other hand. Yet, their motivations were closer to home in a very literal sense. For 28 days, mapenzi and mulowayi decided to hunt and gather all of their food in a predetermined area in their neighbourhood. For Las Nietas de Nonó, FOODTOPIA: después de todo territorio became an audiovisual investigation and living archive of their surround- ings, as well as an evaluation of (new) risks and possibilities of living in an ever changing environment. Though the hunting came organically, the industrialised space of Barrio San Antón presented insurmountable obstacles to finding food such as polluted water and air quality, which influenced both avail- ability and quality of food. Not only were they dealing with hunger, but also with the sadness and frustration of encoun- tering environmental deterioration in a space they presumed they knew well. They emerged with a new awareness of how looking for food changes how one moves through space and what one pays attention to. Most importantly, the time invest- ment needed to find, clean and otherwise prepare the food was humbling: to eat the amounts of meat currently con- sumed in Europe for example, there would be no time for any other activity other than hunting.
The afro-diasporic siblings mulowayi and mapenzi are Las Nietas de Nonó. In their creative process, they evoke ancestral memory through personal archives. Their practice incorporates performance, found objects, organic materials, ecology, fiction, video and installation. In 2016, they created Ilustraciones de la Mecánica, a multimedia installation that was also commissioned by the 10th Berlin Biennial (2018) and by the 79th Whitney Biennial (2019). They have received the United States Artist Award (2018), The Art of Change from the Ford Foundation (2017), and the Global Arts Fund from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (2017 and 2020). La Nietas de Nonó are the recipients of the 2022 Rome Prize in Visual Art at the American Academy in Rome.

Christian Offman

Barocco (2022) is a new site-specific installation by Christian Offman commissioned for this exhibition. The title is Off- man’s explicit reference to t’s Poetics of Relation (1997), by Edouard Glissant, and his interpretation of baroque. Drawing from his artistic practice that blends history and memory into sculpture and installation, as well as from his personal experience of being of Rwandan descent but raised in Italy, he tackles a defining issue in contemporary societies: citizenship. In this work, the artist positions fifteen barriers following a precise scheme in order to design a course for the visitor, who is guided along a defined path. Barocco emerges from auto-analytic investigation and reflection on the condition of being a citizen and a foreigner at the same time. It references the disheveling experience of foreigners who regularly have to apply for or renew their documents. The constraints of this path are metaphorically rendered as barriers that immigrants have to go through to have their legal status recognised. These obstacles are often overly bureaucratic and opaque while perpetually producing discriminatory and inefficient effects. Offman deliberately chooses to wander, both as an act of resistance to a denied status and as a way of mediating the desire to belong to a specific place while embracing his multiplicity. Blending with the post-industrial context of Mattatoio, the installation also comprises two damaged fridges: found relics that are re- purposed to hold Offman’s concrete sculptures. The sculptural forms do not epitomise any specific gender or shape but are part of abstract and subconscious visual and material musings that the artist developed through his research drawing on his family’s image archive.
Christian Offman (Rwanda, 1993) lives and works between Munich and Bologna. He moved to Italy in 1999, growing up between Rwanda and Italy: the sum of these two cultural and geographical poles is reflected in Offman’s aesthetics and artistic practice. The focal points of his research are identity, memory and historical repression, elements which guide the contradictions and ideological defects that define postcolonial contemporaneity. Offman’s artistic practice is the result of different layers of research, in which history, sociology and tradition are questioned. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Bolo- gna, the Kunstakademie Münster Hochschule für Bildende Kunste and the Akademie der Bil- denden Künste München. He participated in YGBI Research Residency in Florence.


SPAZIO GRIOT is a nomadic space that  platforms multidisciplinary experimentation,  exploration and discussion. As an itinerant,  nomadic think, feel and do-tank firmly rooted in Rome, SPAZIO GRIOT hosts exhibitions,  performances, screenings, workshops, residencies, readings, panels and multi-day  events for audiences.

Previous events include the discussion panel  Afroitalians in the arts today at the American Academy in Rome (2015), Sangue Misto at Jazz Re:found (2017), the touring performance project for the “Italia, Culture, Africa” programme of the Italian Ministry of  Foreign Affairs Mirrors (2019), Memorie in  Ascolto for Spellbound and Contemporary  Rome, the Der Greif Guest Room (2020),  Gucci Equilibrium Takeover (2020), Visioni  | Raiy and Visioni | Guiss Guiss (2021) and  the Italian launch of Grada Kilomba’s book  Plantation Memories. Episodes of everyday  racism (with Capovolte Edizioni and Castello  Di Rivoli 2021).

Johanne Affricot is an independent curator, cultural producer and artistic director. She founded GRIOTmag in 2015, an online magazine which seeks out and covers artistic and cultural production by Africans and people of African descent as well as other marginalised groups of the global majority. Since 2015 she has conceived and curated a series of projects as part of today’s SPAZIO GRIOT, a nomadic space rooted in Rome that platforms multidisciplinary experimentation, exploration and discussion. In 2019 she was the artistic director of Mirrors, a performance project that was presented in Rome, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Dakar. She is invested in creating space(s) as re-generative and archival devices to cultivate, discover, transform and disseminate strategies and artistic practices that have a strong cultural and social impact. In 2020 she was one of the 10 women featured in Ritratti di donne (Portraits of Women) a project by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Eric Otieno Sumba is a writer and editor, working at the intersections between social justice, postcolonial politics, the global ‘order’ and contemporary art and culture. He is one of the contributors to African Artists: From 1882 to Now (Phaidon, 2021) and contributing editor at GRIOTmag. His writing has been published by Contemporary And, Africa is a country, Frieze, Nataal and Texte zur Kunst, among others. Previous exhibition projects he has worked on include 6-Friedberg-Chicago, a solo exhibition by James Gregory Atkinson (Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund 2022), and the group exhibition Certainties are Suspended featuring Keyezua, Samira Messner, Fabrice Monteiro, and Nicolas Premier (Institut Francais, Stuttgart 2019).

Padiglione 9B, Performer: Prinz Gholam
13 luglio, ore 12-13
13 luglio, ore 12-13
13 luglio, ore 12-13