Villa e Collezione Panza - Varese
30 / 11 / 2013 - 29 / 12 / 2013

Postcards from the Desert Island, the sixth and last appointment of AN EDUCATION – the series  of exhibitions of artists’ videos and workshops curated by ALAgroup – opens  on November 30th at Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese. The video, by Adelita Husni-Bey, will be shown  in the project  room  of the Villa until December 29th.

Postcards from the Desert Island (2011)  documents a workshop conducted by the artist  with the pupils  of the École Vitruve, a primary state-run experimental school  in Paris. Drawing  inspiration from  William Golding’s  novel  ‘Lord  of the Flies’,  Husni-Bey asked  the  children  – aged  between seven  and  ten  – to build  a desert island within the school. The video shows them struggling with some of the basic  principles and  issues  related to  self-government: how  to  imagine  a  life without  institutions,   the   law,   the   struggle   for   power,   how   to   deal   with immigration and civil disobedience, and where  to draw  the  distinction between public   and   private.   The  video   therefore   deals   with   the   basic   concepts   of experimental education, the development of the students’ critical  and analytical skills, dialogue, non-competition, and anti-discrimination.

On the morning  of the opening  – from 10 am to 1 pm – the artist  will conduct  a workshop with  a group  of pupils  from a secondary school; through a series  of exercises  based on the experiences and the work of Augusto Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed), various  hypotheses of conflict will be staged  in order  to understand its roots, to analyse  the origin of our prejudices and the methods of construction of our  subjectivity.  


In the  afternoon,  at  5 pm,  Adelita Husni-Bey will meet  the public  during  a conversation with  the curator of AN EDUCATION  Maria Rosa Sossai,  the  film  critic  Andrea  Bellavita  and  the  artistic   director  of  Villa  e Collezione Panza Anna Bernardini. From December  3rd  to December  29th  the video will be screened in the chapel on the first floor of the villa, specially set up as a project  room. Guided tours  will be available for students.

AN EDUCATION is an initiative  of FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano and is curated by ALAgroup, the platform  for education and contemporary art founded by Maria Rosa Sossai. The project  stems  primarily from the  didactic-educational need  to attract young people to the museum and  stimulate their interest in contemporary art, with an emphasis on new  technologies and the new  media, which has always  been  one of the  main guidelines behind Giuseppe Panza’s choices in the creation of his Collection.

AN EDUCATION is organized with the support and assistance of the Province and the Municipality of Varese. The event benefits  from the valuable contribution of Eni,  which  – as  main  partner of “Eventi  nei  Beni del  FAI” (events  in  the  FAI properties) – sponsors the Foundation in this important project. PIRELLI, which for many years has supported the Foundation, Cedral Tassoni, the historic Italian brand  that  for the second  consecutive year has decided  to pair the tradition, the history  and the naturalness of their  product with FAI, and UBI – Banca  Popolare di Bergamo, also renew their contribution.


Adelita Husni-Bey (Milan, 1985) lives and works in Milan and New York. In 2007 she obtained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design followed by  an  MA in  Sociology and  Urban  Cultures  at  Goldsmiths  University,  both  in London.  In 2008  she  won  the  British  Council Grant  for Artists  Abroad  and,  in 2010,  she  participated in the  residency programme organised by the  Antonio Ratti Foundation (visiting  professor Hans Haacke). In 2011, she took part  in the residency programme ‘6artista’ promoted by Pastificio Cerere, Rome, and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; she recently  completed the Independent Study Programme of the  Whitney  Museum,  New York.  In 2012  she  was  awarded the Young Collectors Prize promoted by the Young Collectors Association, Rome. Among her solo exhibitions:  Playing Truant, Gasworks, London, 2012;  Clays Lane Live Archive,  Supplement  Gallery,  London,  2012;  La Montagna  Verde. Dove? Nel Deserto. Per Dove? Verso il Nulla, Viafarini-Careof, Milan, 2011. Among her group exhibitions: Meeting Points 7- Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks, MuHKA, Antwerp, 2013; O degree Performance-the fragile beauty of crisis, special project within the 5th Moscow Biennale, 2013; TRACK  – A  Contemporary City Conversation, S.M.A.K Museum, Ghent, Belgium, 2012; Right to Refusal, Magazin4/Kunstverein Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria, 2012;  A Holiday from Rules, MACRO, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome, 2011.