Watch Now! The Other: a familiar story

On Tuesday December 1, ICI hosted a screening of Maria D. Rapicavoli’s newly commissioned film The Other: a familiar story, which was followed by a conversation between Rapicavoli and activist Maria Canela, and moderated by Srimoyee Mitra, Director of Stamps Gallery. Commissioned with support from the Italian Council for the Rubin Foundation’s exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow, Rapicavoli’s two-channel film installation premiers in this thematic group show examining entrenched forms of misogyny. The film is a haunting story of an Italian woman forced into marriage, who leaves her family in Italy behind for the United States. Loosely based on a true story, it raises questions about the ethics of artmaking and curatorial practice that draw on lived experiences, specifically in the context of immigration. Together, Rapicavoli, Canela, and Mitra discussed ways in which trauma informs artistic practice, and the tensions between ethical representation and artistic license, especially during times of political instability.

Click here to watch a recording of this event in our Media Room.

This event was co-presented with The Rubin Foundation. The Rubin Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, sustainable communities, and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supports cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.

This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image Caption: Maria D. Rapicavoli, The Other: a familiar story, 2020. Two-channel video installation with sound, 19:40min. Video Still. Photo courtesy of MDR. Maria Rapicavoli’s project supported by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity and Urban Regeneration by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism under the Italian Council program (2019). [Image Description: A woman sits at a long brown wooden table with faceless body mannequins in a room illuminated by sunlight. There are four white plates on the table with food on them and blue napkins.]

December 1, 2020


Maria Canela

Maria Canela is a writer and artivist from the Dominican Republic, living in the United States since 2006. She currently serves as the Community Coordinator at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and is the mother of two incredible kids, Hans and Nadia.

Canela has worked on numerous projects including Car wash workers Campaign, Make the Road NY, Queens, Brooklyn Housing Organizer NWBCCC, the Bronx. Canela is a longtime Queens Museum member, volunteer, and Dept. of Education worker, and has also worked for 3 years as Spanish Speaker Student Council Coordinator at Queens Museum. Canela participated in many actions that supports and help immigrants in New York, is an active member of Mujeres en Movimiento, a Queens-based organization promotes self-care for women and their families, offers free “bailoterapia” classes, health-related workshops and activities and practice Artivism (Art and Activism by Tania Bruguera). As a proud woman who knows how being part of the undocumented community in this country for nearly 5 years and the difference that have documents impacts people’s lives, she understands the needs of her community and helps women to empower themselves and show to the world their capacities and knowledge.

Srimoyee Mitra

Srimoyee Mitra is a curator and writer whose work is invested in building empathy and mutual respect by bringing together meaningful and diverse works of art and design. She develops ambitious and socially relevant projects that mobilize the agency within creative practices and public audiences. Her research interests lie at the intersection of exhibition-making and participation, migration, globalization, and decolonial aesthetics.

Mitra has worked as an Arts Writer for publications in India such as Time Out Mumbai and Art India Magazine. She was the Programming Coordinator of the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (2008-2010) in Toronto where her curatorial projects included Crossing Lines: An Intercultural Dialogue at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Brantford. In 2011, she was appointed the Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Windsor, where she developed an award-winning curatorial and publications program. Her exhibitions Border Cultures (2013-2015), We Won’t Compete (2014), Wafaa Bilal: 168:01(2016) were awarded “Exhibition of the Year” by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries for three consecutive years. In 2015, she edited a multi-authored book, Border Cultures, co-published by the Art Gallery of Windsor and Black Dog Publishing and her writing can be found in journals such as Scapegoat Journal, Fuse, and C Magazines.

Mitra has participated in conferences and lectured across Canada, most recent ones include Creating a Future, O’Kinadas Residency, Complicated Reconciliations, Faculty of Critical and Creative Studies, University of British Columbia, August 2016; Unsettling Urban Spaces on Borderlands, Agnes Etherington Centre and Department of Film and Media, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, March 2016; Sensing Borders, Daniels Faculty University of Toronto, Proseminar Speakers Series, December 2015 and Home on Borderlands, The University of Arizona School of Art, Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series, November 12, 2014.

Mitra was born and raised in Mumbai and has lived in Canada and India, before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is currently the Director of Stamps Gallery, Stamps School of Art and Design.

Maria D. Rapicavoli

Maria D. Rapicavoli was born in Catania (Italy) and lives and works in New York.

Rapicavoli was a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2012 and received her MFA from Goldsmiths University of London (2005) and a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania (2001).

She has exhibited in several group shows including at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco; Museo di Villa Croce, Genoa; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, NY; Museo di Villa Croce, Genova (Italy); Palazzo Reale, Milan; Guest Projects, London; Riso, Museum for Contemporary Art, Palermo, Italy; Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Sala Rekalde Bilbao; Italian Cultural Institute London and New York.

She is the recipient of many awards and grants including the Italian Council VI edition Award (2019); the nctm e l’arte award (2013); DE.MO/Movin’UP grant, Italy (2011); the Renaissance Prize Award at the Italian Cultural Institute, London (2008); and a Postgraduate award in Arts and Humanities by AHRB, London (2004).

She has participated in the AIRspace Residency Program at the Abrons Arts Center in New York (2015); International Study and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn (2014); and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Residency Program in NY (2013).

Currently she is Artist Member at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York.

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