Poetry for Revolutions

Art, Exhibition collective, Roma

WED/FRI: 14:00-18:00
THU: 14:00-20:00
SAT/SUN: 11:00-18:00
Entrance: via Ludovisi 48

Art, Exhibition collective

WED/FRI: 14:00-18:00
THU: 14:00-20:00
SAT/SUN: 11:00-18:00
Entrance: via Ludovisi 48

Poetry for Revolutions. A Group Show with Manifestos and Proposals

A collaboration project between Istituto Svizzero (Rome) and Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich).

With: Bassem Saad, Ceylan Öztrük, Guerreiro do Divino Amor, Giorgio Zeno Graf, Industria Indipendente, Ivona Brđanović, Maya Olah, Mathis Pfäffli, Michèle Graf & Selina Grüter, MigrArt/DACZ (Deniz Damla Uz & Niştiman Erdede), Ramaya Tegegne, RM, Sandra Mujinga, Shirana Shahbazi e Ursula Biemann. And a historical showcase with archive material and manifestos by Rivolta Femminile, Le Nemesiache and Anna Oberto.

Curated by Gioia Dal Molin (Istituto Svizzero) and Salome Hohl (Cabaret Voltaire).

Poetry for Revolutions: A Group Show with Manifestos and Proposals is an exhibition project resulting from the collaboration between Istituto Svizzero and Cabaret Voltaire, taking place simultaneously in Rome and Zurich. The exhibition refers to the historical importance and potential of the manifesto as a means of political and artistic expression that challenges dominant power structures.

In this context, artists and writers have conceived contemporary manifestos addressing topical issues, including the ecological crisis, the power of language and current socio-political issues. The manifestos are exhibited both in their original form and as black-and-white copies that visitors can freely take from the display specially created by artist Ceylan Öztrük.

In addition to the manifestos, some of the artists in the exhibition present additional works such as the sculptural works of Ceylan Öztrük, Mathis Pfäffli and Sandra Mujina, the photographs of Shirana Shahbazi, the sound work of Industria Indipendente, the video-installations of Bassem Saad and Ursula Biemann, or the neon-installation by Michèle Graf and Selina Grüter at the main entrance of the Villa.

The show further includes historical manifestos and documents by Rivolta Femminile, the Le Nemesiache collective and the artist Anna Oberto, offering an immersion into the history of Italian feminism in the 1960s and 1970s through the work of movements that played a significant role in redefining female culture and identity in Italy and abroad.

Poetry for Revolutions is the result of an ongoing conversation between curators Gioia Dal Molin and Salome Hohl on the political responsibility of their role within the institutional context. At a time of widespread political, social, and ecological crisis, it is inevitable to ask whether what one does is enough, and one wonders: what is the meaning of a manifesto today? What are the new forms of rebellion in the current era? Or even, what words or thoughts could be seen on the walls of Rome or Zurich today?

Download the curatorial text and floorplan here

The exhibition in Rome will coincide with a show taking place at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, from 06.10.2023 to 31.03.2024.

Cabaret Voltaire was founded in 1916 in Zurich by Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, among others, and is considered the cradle of Dada. The Cabaret Voltaire is a place to engage with one’s own present and its means of expression across disciplines. These demands on an institution have the same urgency today as they did in 1916. Historical positions and contemporary strategies that sharpen our political and aesthetic judgment can be discussed against the Dadaist backdrop. The Cabaret Voltaire functions simultaneously as an artists’ ‘local’, a competence center and mediation site for Dada, and a platform for contemporary art and debate.


Istituto Svizzero
Via Ludovisi 48, Rome
Free entry, no registration required

Opening hours:
Wednesday/Friday: 14:00-18:00
Thursday: 14:00-20:00
Saturday/Sunday: 11:00-18:00

The exhibition will be exceptionally closed on January 31st.

For press inquires, please contact press@istitutosvizzero.it.

This project is supported by:
Stiftung Temperatio
Philaneo Stiftung
Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler
Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung
Stiftung Kulturfonds
Oertli Stiftung


Anna Oberto (1934) is known as a leading figure in the Visual Writing Movement, with a particular theoretical and operational approach to the theme of the feminine. She has collaborated with her husband Martino Oberto since 1958, when they founded the magazine Anna Eccetera. In 1975, she published the first International Anthology of Visual Operators and in 1979 contributed to the entry ‘Visual Poetry’ in the encyclopaedia Lessico Politico delle Donne. Anna Oberto has actively participated in important national and international exhibitions in institutions such as the Venice Biennale, the Finch College Museum in New York, the GAM in Turin, and the Hayward Gallery in London.

Bassem Saad is an artist and writer born in Beirut. Their work explores notions of historical rupture, spontaneity, and surplus, through film, performance, and sculpture, alongside essays and fiction. With an emphasis on past and present forms of struggle, they attempt to place scenes of intersubjective exchange within their world-historical frames. Bassem’s work has been presented and screened at MoMA, CPH:DOX, Triangle-Asterides, Busan Bienna-le, and Transmediale. They are currently a fellow at the Berlin Program for Artists. Their most recent film, Congress of Idling Persons, received Special Mention in the New:Vision Award category at CPH:DOX 2022. Their writing appears in The New Inquiry, Jadaliyya, FailedArchitecture, and The Funambulist.

Ceylan Öztrük is an artist, lives and works in Zürich. She completed her practice-based PhD (2016) at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Istanbul) and she attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna in Post Conceptual Art Practices (2014). She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Fine Arts Faculty, Sculpture Department at Anadolu University. Ceylan Öztrük opens up accepted forms of knowledge and focuses on how these come about; how these redirect a particular flow and influence power structures. Among other places she exhibited and performed at Gessnerallee Theatre (Zurich, 2023 and 2020), Geneva Biennial, FriArt Kunsthalle (Fri-bourg, 2021); Longtang (Zurich, 2020), IV. Berliner Herbstsalon (2019); My Wild Flag Festival, Stockholm (2019); Call me Venus, Mars, Istanbul (2016).

Swiss-brasilian artist Guerreiro do Divino Amor (Geneva, 1983, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro) holds a Master’s degree in architecture from the School of Architecture of Grenoble and La Cambre Architecture (Brussels). His research explores the superfictions, the historical, political, religious, and mediatical narratives that interfere in the construction of territory and of the collective imaginary. His work has been presented at Centre d’Art Contemporain (Geneva), Frestas Trienal (Sorocaba, Brazil), Second Bienal Tropical in Porto Rico, the Center for Contemporary Art in Vilnius (Lithuania), Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre (BR), among other institutions. In 2024 Guerreiro do Divino Amor will represent Switzerland at the 60th Venice Biennale.

Giorgio Zeno Graf (1999, Lugano) lives and works in Zurich. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Visual Arts from the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK). Giorgio Zeno Graf’s work focuses on the use of resources through means of sculptures and installations, with a keen interest on the symbiotic relationships one builds with its surroundings. In 2020 Graf was awarded first prize in Le stanze dell’arte / Premio giovani artisti Genesi creativa, m.a.x museo, Chiasso. Graf has participated in group exhibitions including Bissone Arte 22 and CALCI (Ai Molti Tesori, Mendrisio), ALLDA (Zurich), Offspace Flüelastrasse (Zurich) and Material (Zurich).

Industria Indipendente is a Rome-based performing, writing and visual arts collective founded by Erika Z. Galli and Martina Ruggeri. Their research is rooted in language: extended writing that inscribes itself in bodies, environments and surfaces; it becomes action and performativity; it liquefies and expands into sound, voice and light; it opens, contaminates, and blurs the boundaries between self and others, here and elsewhere. Their works always articulate questions and reflections: the ‘unproductive’ dimension of time, the creation of alternative and fictional worlds where communities and alliances are formed, a constant overturning and recreation of individual and collective identities. They have just debuted at the National Theatre of Rome with the show Left Hand, a performative, visual, and acoustic space.

Ivona Brđanović is a dramatist, queer-feminist activist, screenwriter and author. Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she lives in Zurich since 1991. After studying environmental engineering in Zurich, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Swiss Literature Institute in Biel and a Master’s degree in film/screenwriting from Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZhdK). She is the editor of GLITTER, the first queer literary magazine in the German-speaking world. In addition to regular performances and event hosting in Switzerland and Germany, she writes for series and publishes her own texts. Her focus are minorities, queer and migrant themes.

Le Nemesiache is a historical feminist group founded by Lina Mangiacapre in 1970. The group has never ceased to exist and carry out artistic and cultural activities, also giving ample space to political action with initiatives and events in Naples, the Campania region and elsewhere, in Italy and abroad.

Maya Olah, born in 1990 and raised in St. Gallen, studied German linguistics and literature and ethnology in Zurich and Vienna. She works as an author and teacher and develops concepts and texts for audio formats/performances and writes prose. Various oh her short stories have won awards, been published in literary magazines, and radio plays have been broadcast on the radio. She leads an interdisciplinary art project on the theme of the dance of death and has published the anthology Bailando Bailando. Ein Totentanz published by Vexer Verlag Berlin. She lives in Zurich and is currently working on her first novel.

Mathis Pfäffli (1983, Lucerne) lives and works in Zurich. He studied graphic design and illustration in Lucerne and Hamburg, as well as free art at the Institut Kunst in Basel. For his sculptures and installations he uses found objects from nature and industry, which he recombines and alienates. Just like his surrealistic drawings, they take up landscape, growth and decay. In doing so, the artist plays with existing images of the world, our language and environment. His works have been shown at Kunsthaus Baselland, Museum im Bellpark and Kunstmuseum Luzern, among other institutions. In 2023 he was a finalist for the Swiss Art Awards.

Michèle Graf (1987, Wetzikon) & Selina Grüter (1991, Zurich) are an artist duo living in New York, working with language and translation. They studied media arts at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Recent exhibitions and performances include More Clock Work, Fanta-MLN, Milan; The Besieged Courtyard (Il cortile assediato), Istituto Svizzero, Milan; Clock Work, Kunstverein Kevin Space, Wien; Contradictory Statements, Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg; Sequences, Emily Harvey Foundation, New York.

MigrArt/DACZ (Deniz Damla Uz & Niştiman Erdede): MigrArt is a Zurich-based association founded by people who had to seek refuge and BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) Artists. MigrArt activities are created with the involvement of community, firmly believing that art plays a vital role in connecting and empowering people from diverse backgrounds, identities, and affiliations, particularly those living in the margins. The Decolonial Art Collective Zurich is a long-term project of the association MigrArt, initiated by Niştiman Erdede. It offers space, network, resources and programs for refugee artists and cultural workers in Zurich and elsewhere to pursue their own artistic activities, network with the cultural scene and find space and time to build an artistic arch from their origins to the present.

Ramaya Tegegne (1985, Geneva) is an artist, researcher and cultural producer living and working in Geneva. Her research and practice attempt to reveal the mechanisms of a dominant model within the cultural fields and in our society by observing the economy, historicization and power relations through which they are constituted. She had solo exhibitions at Künstlerhaus in Stuttgart, Istituto Svizzero in Milan, Ludlow 38 in New York, Kevin Space in Vienna, and Fri Art Kunsthalle in Fribourg. In 2017, she launched Wages For Wages Against, a campaign for the remuneration of artists and better work conditions, which received a Swiss Art Award in 2022.

Rivolta Femminile was an influential Italian feminist group that emerged in the 1970s, founded by the writer and activist Carla Lonzi along with other women such as Carla Accardi, Elvira Banotti, and other prominent figures in the Italian feminist movement. Carla Lonzi, wrote the influential book Let’s Spit on Hegel in 1970, in which she expressed her radical views on women’s emancipation and the creation of their own space for feminist voices. Rivolta Femminile made a significant contribution to feminist discourse and left a lasting legacy in the fight for gender equality in Italy and beyond.

RM (formerly Real Madrid) is an artist collective founded in Geneva in 2015. The group’s works explore the intersections of sexuality, consumerism and identity through large-scale sculpture and installation projects examining social and political responses to stigmatised illnesses, focusing on sexually transmitted infection and disease. Their recent exhibitions include Auto Italia South East, London (2023), CEC Centre d’Edition Contemporaine, Geneva (2023), Swiss Institute, New York (2022), Centre culturel suisse, Paris (2021), Fondazione ICA Milano (2021), Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2021), Quadriennale Roma, Rome (2021), and others. RM was awarded the Swiss Art Award in 2018 and 2023.

Sandra Mujinga (1989, Goma, DRC) is a multidisciplinary Norwegian artist and musician who works between Berlin and Oslo. Thinking through speculative fiction in Afrofuturist tradition, Sandra Mujinga plays with economies of visibility and disappearance. Her works negotiates questions of self-representation and preservation, appearance, and opacity, through an interdisciplinary practice in which she often reverses traditional identity politics of presence. The artist’s works depart from a purely anthropocentric approach to understanding the transient world we are living in now, for that reason Mujinga is looking for inspiration in how animals are developing survival strategies and adapting to hostile surroundings.

Shirana Shahbazi (1974, Tehran) is an internationally recognized artist living and working in Zurich since 1997. Her work is represented in public collections worldwide, such as Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich; MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London; Sprengel Museum, Hannover. Exhibitions have been presented at international institutions, including the MoMA, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Barbican Art Gallery, London and the Venice Biennale. Together with Manuel Krebs, she has published various artist books and monographs. She was awarded the Prix Meret Oppenheim (2019).

Ursula Biemann is a Swiss artist and author, whose practice centers on fieldwork, often in Indigenous territories, and the creation of networks between different fields of knowledge. Her artistic practice reflects on the political ecologies of forests, oil and water, creating critical perspectives on the dynamics of extraction and also proposing alternative ecocentric modes of relating to the natural world. Biemann recently published the online monograph Becoming Earth on ten years of her ecological video works and writing with UNAL Bogota, and the book Forest Mind with Spector Books (2022).