Promo shoot of SpectRoom: Fluid Narratives filmed by Gabriele Massidda @gabbovdmkr
“Hi everyone. I’m Francesco Ferranti and I’m the curator of SpectRoom: Fluid Narratives. The exhibition aims to tell stories which explore gender identity, queerness, love, loss and connection. Curating with the lens of intersectionality means showing the different layers of oppression in the LGBTQAI+ community, discussing privilege, accessibility and inclusivity.
In these challenging and bleak times, when the opportunities to get together as a community are restricted due to COVID 19, I think it’s important to stay positive, uplift each other and use social media to discuss mental health and belonging.
SpectRoom would be a digital safe space where every artist and the audience are encouraged to forge their own narratives, that dismantle cis-normativity and gender binarism.
In a nutshell, Identity, as many other human features, exists on a spectrum and includes an endless range of identities, as varied as the chromatic scale.
The queer and fluid body is, in itself, a radical and political tool. The body is the key actor, that enables new approaches to storytelling. A storytelling that is open, fluid, dynamic.
The audience is encouraged to unlearn their biases and to retrain their gaze. SpectRoom encourages invites you to actively participate and to become storyteller.”
Matías Alvial (b. 1997, He-Him) Alvial is a New York and London- based artist, community organiser and activist, originally from Chile. He explores themes of identity, human connection, gender and sexuality, and power dynamics in relation to our physical bodies. His work is often characterised by surrealist elements, rich detail, and personal and historical symbolism. His first gallery debut was in Albert Merola Gallery in Provincetown, MA. Alvial holds a BA in ‘The Aesthetics of Commerce’ from New York University.
Follow Matías on Instagram: @matialvial
Maurizio Bongiovanni (b. 1979 He-Him) Bongiovanni is a Milan- based painter, born in Tettnang, Germany. He lived in Xiamen and London. After a course of study related to the world of the image Bongiovanni begin to participate in several artistic residencies at Vermont Studio Center in America, La Napoule Art Foundation Clews Center for the Arts in France and the Foundation Valparaiso in Spain getting a stipend by Italian prize GAI. Maurizio Bongiovanni’s paintings were selected by the Director of Moca London Michael Petry in his book Nature Morte: Contemporary Still Life Artists Reinvigorate the Tradition (2013) published by Thames & Hudson. His work has been shown at the Nino Mier Gallery (Los Angeles -2020), UTA Artist Space (Beverly Hills – 2020), Cannaviello Art Studio, (Milan – 2019), Eve Leibe Gallery (London – 2019), Window Project Federico Lugar Gallery (Milan – 2019). Bongiovanni is the founder of Milan-based artist run space Metodo Milano.
Follow Maurizio on Instagram: @maurizio_bongiovanni
Veronique Charlotte (b. 1989, She-Her) Charlotte is a Creative Art Director and Social Activist Photographer from Italy, based now in London for the past seven years. Her first ventures into the industry were through fashion and editorial photography. Her personal work is introspective. It focuses on the body in relation to the social environment, and gives shape to the thread of human connection. Her approach is experimental and performative, pushing her body and mind to the limit in pursuit of greater clarity and release. She strongly believes in collaborative working practices and education as well, and has worked as a UK Government Tutor at the London College of Fashion, In 2019 She funded the ‘Gender Project’ a social photography project. She is been also the Ambassador 2020 for Vans Europe and Vice Uk and IT for the international mental health day. Her work has been shown at Ride Milano (2020), V&A London (2019), The Windmill for New Gum February (2019). Her work has been published in Vice UK, I-D, Harper Bazar, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Vogue Italia, Another Magazine, Hunger TV Magazine, Schon Magazine.
Follow Veronique on Instagram @gender_project.
Giorgio Ermes Celin (b. 1986, He-Him) Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, Celin currently lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. He creates vibrant works that explore human relationships : the longing for intimacy and tenderness and melancholy of living in a lonely world where individualism is rampant. Celin aims to celebrate the beauty, the queerness and the complexity of the latinx diaspora.
Celin exhibited at Macro and Fondamenta Art Gallery, Rome; Galerie Benjamin Eck, Monaco; Fondazione Michelangelo Pistoletto, Vicenza; Galeria El Museo, Bogotà. Celin’s works have been published on InsideArt, El Heraldo, Artribune, Rivista Segno.
Follow Giorgio on Instagram: @giorgiocelin
Rob Hesp (B. 1993, He-They) Hesp is an artist, choreographer and dancer from Leeds, England currently based between Copenhagen and London. Hesp is interested in the ways people come together, using their work to suggest alternate modes of being and feeling. Their performance work is constructed from a fluid and evolving queer perspective, often using viscous mess, material textures and sculptural object forms alongside the moving body.
They trained in performance art at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and have since completed intensive training with Anne Bogart and SITI Company, in Suzuki and Viewpoints methods (New York) and Sisters Hope exploring sensuous learning and poetic society (Denmark). Hesp has presented work at venues including the V&A Museum, Southbank Centre and Roundhouse, London as well as at high profile festivals and art platforms such as Latitude, Spill, and Buzzcut.
As a dancer Hesp has collaborated and worked with artists including La JohnJoseph, Luke Pell, Kimberley Harvey (Subtle Kraft Co) and Farah Saleh, performing at venues including the Saatchi gallery and Tate Modern.
Follow Rob on Instagram: @robhesp
Will Hughes (B.1993, They-Them) Born in Leicester, UK, Hughes currently lives in Newcastle,UK. Hughes is a Multi-Disciplinary artist who is a studio holder at The Auxiliary in Middlesbrough. Their work is conceptually driven by lived experiences as a queer, non binary person in the UK, mixing pop culture references with material language to construct moments. They wish to seduce the viewer through often using repetitive mechanical movement, the use of glossy/shiny surfaces and the lens of glamour as a means of storytelling.
Hughes graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art from Bath Spa University (School of Art) in 2018. In the same year they were awarded the Kenneth Armitage Foundation, Graduate Award and completed a year long studio fellowship at Spike Island in Bristol.They are currently in the final months of completing a Master of Fine Art at the BxNU institute (Baltic Centre for Contemporary art & Northumbria University). Recent Exhibitions include I’m a soldier to my own emptiness, I’m a winner, with Robbie O’Keeffe (Online). Everyday Future Waiting, Baltic 39, Newcastle. Queer Contemporaries Air gallery, Altrincham. Self, Fringe Arts, Bath. Engagement and Entrapment, Seoul, South Korea, curated by Diana Ali. Alumni Exhibition, Bath School of Art, Bath.
Follow Will on Instagram: @will_hughes_art
Kenneth Constance Loe (B. 1989, He-They) Born in Singapore, Loe is an artist currently based in Vienna and co-founder of Cheap Mozart Vintage, an online store featuring handpicked secondhand and vintage garments and accessories. They are the co-founder of soft/ WALL/studs, a collaborative project in Singapore involving several artists, writers, film makers, art workers, and researchers. Their practice currently revolves around material and sensorial festishes of desire, poetics of hospitality, queer ecologies and other tangential thoughts through a performative collocation of sculpture, video, text and olfactory objects.
Recent projects include ‘Monzoom Zchool’, an online platform for alternative education, The bittersweet tale of the seedless pit in space-time featuring a menagerie of critters, The bow at the centre of the décolleté, a group exhibition that addresses asymmetrical relations within the order of heteronormativity and homosociality, ‘In A Hard Place Apply Soft Pressure/s’, a project that experimented with forms of collaborative working within the scope of a one-month residency at Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, ‘Nice View From Up Here’, Petunia, which took cues from an animated public information film from the 1970s as departure points to explore inane pleasures and innuendo, as well as a frangipani for her thoughts, Ikkan Art Gallery, Singapore, an exhibition exploring notions of distance, death and desire via installation, scripting and performance.
Follow Kenneth on Instagram: @insecurepetals
George Morl (b.1994, They-Them)
Born in Basildon, UK, Morl is an artist, curator, and avatar, exploring human connection under modern technology, crip theory, queer dialogues, gender, and the remits between art and science. Morl received their BFA from University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury, UK in 2016 and MFA in 2018. Exhibitions include their first solo museum show Precious Boys, Southend Museums (2018), combining works with their collection investigating the relationship between performance and men’s body-images; Paradise Hotel, UCA, Canterbury (2016) examining sensoriums of medical spaces and sensory processing perspectives in neurodivergence. Others include Platform 2016, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016). Recipient of Jerwood Newlyn Residency, Newlyn (2021), Firstsite Award, Colchester (2020), Darren Henley Scholarship (2016- 2018) for researching Essex Man working class identities in relation to body- image disorders, and shortlisted for Jerwood Bursary (2019). Morl has been speaker at Tate Modern and Birmingham Open Media (BOM), with work in public and private collections.
Follow George on Instagram: @edvardoshadalow
Community is an in-conversation series with curators, writers, and activists on themes surrounding the exhibition. Topics such as intersectionality, white privilege, representation and creating knowledge during these pandemic times will be explored.
Jordan Anderson (b. 1998, He-Him)
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Anderson is a creative director and fashion/culture journalist, currently living and working in Milan. He is the editor-at-large @nssmagazine and @amagazinecuratedby, and founder of ‘My Queer Blackness My Black Queerness’ , an online platform highlighting the different shades of Black Queer Identity.
Follow Jordan on Instagram: @symbiosity
Camilla Cole (b. 1985, She-Her) Born in Brighton, United Kingdom. Cole is a curator and founder of Cole Projects, a London-based curatorial platform that discovers and exhibits international emerging and mid-career artists.
Follow Cole Projects on Instagram @cole_projects
Leo Rowan (b. 1999, They-Them) Born in Bologna, Rowan lives in Florence, Italy where they are currently studying Set Design. Leo identifies as non-binary and loves contemporary art and the art of drag.
Follow Leo on Instagram: @anrwnrs
Prem Sahib (b.1982, He-They) Sahib lives and works in
London. Sahib works across various mediums including sculpture, installation, performance and painting. Their work references the architecture of public and private spaces and structures that shape individual and communal identities, senses of belonging, alienation and confinement.
Follow Prem on Instagram: @premsahib
Thanks to Gabriele Massidda-Videomaker, Marco Tomassoli– Graphic Designer, the artists and the Community contributors for inspiring me and collaborating to the exhibition.