Rossella Biscotti

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Rossella Biscotti
Lavoro preparatorio per l'opera Dai tempo al tempo.JPG
Rossella Biscotti

(1978-12-11) 11 December 1978 (age 41)
Molfetta (BA), Italy
EducationAccademia di Belle Arti di Napoli (IT), Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam (NL), Advance Course in Visual Art Fondazione A. Ratti Como (IT)
Years active2003
Known forVisual arts
Notable work
Il Processo (The Trial) 2010–2012, Le Teste in Oggetto (The Heads in Question) 2009, I dreamt that you changed into a cat… gatto… ha ha ha, 2013

Rossella Biscotti (born 1978) is an Italian visual artist best known for her installations, performances and video.

Early life and education[edit]

She graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples in 2002, she attended the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2010-2011. Back in 2000 she was selected for the Advanced Course in Visual Art at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como. IT, visiting professor Ilya Kabakov.


Rossella Biscotti focuses on social and political events which sometimes have happened in the distant past and become the starting point for the investigation of individual or collective identity and memory.

Her methodology is based on a meticulous preliminary research into archival materials such as found documents, audio recordings or newspapers documenting stories and events which have been forgotten by history. She uses archive materials to underline the loss of information, the ambiguity of reconstructions and their possible uses as well.[1] Biscotti is interested in the potentiality of new narrations when they start circulating again through her artworks.

With Le Teste in Oggetto (The Heads in Question, 2009)[2] the artist analyzes the relations between art and power raising questions about the status of contemporary artists and their degree of intellectual and conceptual autonomy. The sculpture consists of the heads of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Benito Mussolini, which were found by the artist in the storerooms of the Palazzo degli Uffici in the EUR district in Rome. The sculptures were created for the Esposizione universale (1942) which never took place because of Italy's involvement in World War II. Biscotti decided to appropriate them and exposed them to the public for the first time. Doing so, the artist radically reversed their original meaning: rather than celebratory monuments, they became the focus of reflection and discussion.

In her work Il Processo (The Trial, 2010–12)[3][4] she focuses on the April 7th trial (1983–84), against the members of Autonomia Operaia. The trial was held in the Aula Bunker in Rome, a high-security courthouse, which hosted the most important trials of the period known as Anni di Piombo (Years of Lead). She created an installation composed by concrete sculptures made from casts of the architectural features of the courtroom, taken before their demolition. The installation is accompanied by a six-hour audio edited recording of the April 7 trial.[5] Defendants in the court case included the philosophers Antonio Negri and Paolo Virno, and other intellectuals accused of being ideologically and morally responsible for Italian terrorism developed in the late 1970s. Il Processo won the MAXXI prize in 2010, promoted by MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo in Rome.[1]

The human condition and circumstances in detention are the focus of I dreamt that you changed into a cat…gatto…ha ha ha (2013).[6] Rossella Biscotti developed her research in the women’s prison on Giudecca island at the Venetian lagoon. This prison is not like a traditional one where inmates are locked and unproductive; on the contrary, the prisoners spend their time working outside the prison. As all prison cells are open, Biscotti was given the opportunity to meet every prisoner by creating a dream workshop, called ‘oneiric laboratory’. Using the workshop as a platform to communicate with the prisoners, Biscotti analyzed the institution and the way the inmates figure in it. She processed her research in a sculpture made of compost, which was the result of work that has been done by inmates in the kitchen, cleaning, the growing of vegetables and consumption. The work was presented during the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.[7]

Exhibitions and awards[edit]

Her work has been exhibited widely throughout Italy and abroad, in major museums and galleries.

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2015 Rossella Biscotti, The future can only be for ghosts, Museion, Bolzano (IT).[8]
  • 2014 Rossella Biscotti, 10 x 10, Mies van der Rohe Stipend, Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld (DE).[9]
  • 2014 Rossella Biscotti: The Undercover Man, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York (US).[10][11]
  • 2014 Rossella Biscotti: For the Mnemonist, S., Wiels, Brussels (BE).[12]
  • 2013 The Trial, e-flux, New York (US).[13]
  • 2013 The Side Room, Wiener Secession, Vienna (AT).[14]
  • 2012 Title One: The tasks of the Community, CAC, Vilnius (LT).[15]
  • 2012 L'Isola, De Vleeshal, Middelburg (NL).[16]
  • 2011 Il Processo (The Trial), RijksakademieOpen, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (NL).[17]
  • 2010 168 sections of a human brain, Galleria Civica di Trento (IT).[18]
  • 2009 A short story about memory, pentothal and dreams, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (DE).[19]
  • 2009 After four rotations of A, B and C will make one revolution (with Kevin van Braak), Samsa, Berlin (DE).[20]
  • 2009 Le Teste in Oggetto, Nomas Foundation Rome (IT).[21]
  • 2008 The Undercover Man, Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam (NL).
  • 2008 You Have to Be Focused, Prometeo Gallery, Lucca (IT).[22]
  • 2008 New Crossroads (with Kevin van Braak), Galleria Studio la Citta’, Verona (IT).[23]
  • 2008 The Sun Shines in Kiev, Italian Academy at Columbia University, New York (US).[24][25]
  • 2005 L’Italia è una repubblica democratica fondata sul lavoro, Galerie Paolo Boselli, Brussels (BE).
  • 2002 Rossella Biscotti, Galleria T293, Naples (IT).

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2015 Unendliche Bibliothek, Alte Fabrik Rapperswil (CH).
  • 2015 Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation, Witte de With, Rotterdam (NL).
  • 2014 Future Generation Art Prize 2014, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev
  • 2014 Don’t Embarrass the Bureau, Lunds Konsthall, Lund (SE).
  • 2014 AV Festival, Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) with Kevin van Braak, The Journal, Institute for Contemporary Arts, London (UK).
  • 2014 WE HAVE NEVER BEEN MODERN, Songeun Artspace, Seoul (KR).
  • 2014 Portrait of the Artist as a Young (Wo)Man, Castello di Rivoli, Turin (IT).
  • 2014 The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes, CAG, Vancouver (CA).
  • 2014 The Yellow Side of Society. Italian Artists in Europe, Bozar, Brussels (BE).
  • 2014 Homing, Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam (NL)
  • 2013 55th Venice Biennial, The Encyclopedic Palace, Venice (IT).
  • 2013 Sail Away we Must, CDA Projects, Istanbul (TR).
  • 2013 Sofia Contemporary, Sofia (BG).
  • 2013 13th Istanbul Biennial (TR).
  • 2013 Dear Art, curated by What, How and for Whom/WHW, Calvert 22, London (UK).
  • 2013 Nero Luce – Black Light: works by Alberto Burri, Louise Nevelson, Nunzio di Stefano, Rossella Biscotti, prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan (IT).
  • 2013 5x5 Castelló 2013, Espai d’art Contemporani de Castelló (SP).
  • 2013 An Opal World, Kunstraum, London (UK)
  • 2013 Women Commentators, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (PL).
  • 2013 Chambres des Canaux: The Tolerant Home, manifestation in Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2013 Hong Kong Whistleblowers Club, Para Site, Hong Kong (HK).
  • 2012 Dear Art, +MSUM Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana (SI).
  • 2012 The Traveller, TENT, Rotterdam (NL).
  • 2012 Sorry... But where am I ? #0, Binnenkant21 Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2012 New Public, Museion, Bolzano (IT).
  • 2012 Manifesta 9, Genk (BE).
  • 2012 dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (DE).
  • 2012 The Life of Others. Repetition and Survival, Akbank Sanat, Istanbul (TR).
  • 2012 Silence where things abandon themselves, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (HR).
  • 2012 Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech (MA).
  • 2012 An Exhibition of a Study on Knowledge, Forum Stadtpark Graz (AU).
  • 2012 Knell dobre glas, Galeria Quadrado Azul, Porto and Lisbon (PT).
  • 2012 Beyond Imagination, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL).[26]
  • 2011 RijksakademieOPEN, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2011 Premio Furla, Fondazione Furla, Palazzo Pepoli, Bologna (IT).
  • 2011 An extended exhibition for a transition function, Hillary Crisp, London (GB).
  • 2011 European Culture Congress, Wroclaw (PL).
  • 2011 The Third Tiger, Radioartemobile Rome (IT).
  • 2011 Il Belpaese dell’arte. Etiche ed Estetiche della Nazione, GAMeC, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (IT).
  • 2011 Posso errare, ma non di core, GC.AC – Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea di Monfalcone (IT).
  • 2010 And the Moral of the story is..., Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (NL).
  • 2010 Apart, we are together, curated by Victoria Lynn, Adelaide International 2010 (AU).
  • 2010 All the Memory of the World, GAM Torino, Turin (IT).
  • 2010 Tales of the Unexpected, Rotterdam (NL)
  • 2010 21 x 21: 21 artisti per il 21* secolo, Sandretto Re Raubedengo, Turin (IT).
  • 2010 Not Necessarily in that Order, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (CA).
  • 2010 In Full Bloom curated by Antonio Grulli, Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan (IT).
  • 2010 La XIV Biennale di Carrara curated by Fabio Cavallucci, Carrarra (IT).
  • 2010 Practicing Memory in a time of an all-encompassing present, Pistoletto Foundation, Biella (IT).
  • 2010 Psychosculptures, De Vleeshal Middelburg (NL).
  • 2010 To the Arts, Citizens!, Museu de Serralves, Porto (PT).
  • 2010 The Courage curated by Ilaria Bonacossa, Centro Saint-Bénin, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Aosta (IT).
  • 2010 Premio Italia Arte Contemporanea 2010, MAXXI, Rome (IT)

Film/video screenings[edit]

  • 2015 EYE on Art (screening Yellow Movie), EYE, Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2014 Poetical Politics, Fondazione Sambuca, Palermo (IT).
  • 2009 Screening of The Undercover Man, International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL).
  • 2009 Screening of The Sun Shines in Kiev at Just in the dark, Mercati di Traiano, Roma (IT).
  • 2009 Screening of The Sun Shines in Kiev, Image Forum Festival, Tokyo Yokohama, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo (JP).
  • 2008 Rencontres Internationales, Museo National Reina Sofia, Madrid (ES).
  • 2008 Gstaad Film Festival, Gstaad (CH).
  • 2007 Rencontres Internationales, Jeu de Paume, Paris (FR)
  • 2007 12th Biennial of Moving Images, Centre pour l’image contemporain, Geneva (CH).
  • 2007 Fair Play 2007, Play gallery for still and motion pictures, Berlin (DE).
  • 2007, Accademia Albertina, Turin (IT).
  • 2006 Fair Play 2006, Play gallery for still and motion pictures, Berlin (DE).


In 2013 she was recipient of the Mies van der Rohe Stipend. In 2010 she won the Premio Michelangelo[27] at Post Monument, XIV International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara (IT), and the Premio Italia Arte Contemporanea 2010.[28] In 2009 she won the Premio Fondazione Ettore Fico, Artissima Art Fair, Turin (IT), the 2nd Prize Prix de Rome, Amsterdam (NL) and the Emerging Talents Award,[29] Strozzina Foundation, Florence (IT). In 2008 she was recipient of 1st Prize Golden Cow at Gstaadfilm Festival, Gstaad (CH). In 2007 she was awarded with the 1st Prize The City of Geneva Grand Prize at the 12th Biennial of Moving Images, at the Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Geneva (CH). In 2006 she won the Premio NY[30] promoted by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Italian Academy and the Columbia University in New York (US).


  • 2013 Participant at symposium, Columbia University, New York (US), together with Michael Hardt, Molly Nesbit and Raqs Media Collective
  • 2012 Where are the artists?, Rietveld Academy Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2011 The Autonomy Project, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL).
  • 2011 Where are the artists?, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2009 Archive/Counter-Archive, Monash Centre, Prato (IT).

Artist publications[edit]

  • 2012 The Trial, English transcript of the audio piece produced on the occasion of dOCUMENTA (13)
  • 2011 The Prison of Santo Stefano, Text by Nicola Valentino printed on occasion of the Rijksakademie Open 2011 -reprinted on occasion of the 13th Istanbul Biennial (Turkish, English) and the show at WIELS, For the Mnemonist,S. 2014.
  • 2011 (French, Dutch) and Museion, Rossella Biscotti, 2015 (German, Italian)
  • 2010 168 sections of a human brain, One Star Press, Paris
  • 2010 Al Caffe, reprint from Errico Malatesta’s book, stencil printed, Hillary Crisp Gallery
  • 2009 A Short Story about memory Pentothal and dreams -Transcript edited from thirty hours audio recordings of psycho paralytic sessions by Prof. Jan Bastiaans [nl], foldout, design Louis Luthi
  • 2009 Le Teste in Oggetto / The Heads in Question, Nomas Foundation, Rome
  • 2009 Anarchy at the Bar, reprint from David Nicoll’s book, Hillary Crisp Gallery
  • 2008 L’Uomo dei Due Mondi - Una storia vera, Publication created in conjunction with the film The Undercover Man by Rossella Biscotti
  • 2008 Everything is somehow related to everything else, yet the whole is terrifyingly unstable, Newspaper, Museion Bozen/Bolzano
  • 2007 Cities of Continuous Lines (with Kevin van Braak), Fonds BKVB, Amsterdam, design Louis Luthi
  • 2006 The Sun Shines in Kiev, poster, Amsterdam, 2006, design Louis Luthi

Monographic catalogues[edit]

  • 2015 10 x 10, catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition Rossella Biscotti 10 x 10, 15th Mies van der Rohe Stipend at Haus Esters, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Revolver Publishing
  • 2015 For the Mnemonist, S. , Rossella Biscotti, WIELS and Roma Publications
  • 2013 The Side Room. Rossella Biscotti, Secession Wien, Revolver Publishing
  • 2012 Rossella Biscotti. Ten Works, Mousse Publishing, Milano
  • 2011 The Prison of Santo Stefano, Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam


  1. ^ a b Casavecchia, Barbara (May 2011). "Rossella Biscotti". Frieze Magazine (139).
  2. ^ "Heads in Question by Rossella Biscotti at the Nomas Foundation, Rome. » …..afterart news…." Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  3. ^ "Performa · Rossella Biscotti: The Trial". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  4. ^ "ROSSELLA BISCOTTI :: For the Mnemonist, S. | DROME magazine". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  5. ^ Homewood, David. "Exhuming the Archive: Interview with Rossella Biscotti". un Magazine (5.2): 12.
  6. ^ "The Encyclopedic Palace | Frieze". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  7. ^ Bellmann, Karin (October 30, 2013). "Rossella Biscotti". Art in America.
  8. ^ Museion (11 December 2014). "Rossella BiscottiThe future can only be for ghosts".
  9. ^ "Kunstmuseen Krefeld".
  10. ^ Johnson, Ken (March 27, 2014). "Social Analysis From the Edge: Rossella Biscotti and Others at Sculpture Center". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Rossella Biscotti: The Undercover Man".
  12. ^ WIELS. "Rossella Biscotti: For the Mnemonist, S. - Exhibitions - WIELS".
  13. ^ "Rossella Biscotti, The Trial - Announcements - e-flux".
  14. ^ "Rossella Biscotti « secession".
  15. ^ "Rossella Biscotti. Title One: The tasks of the Community". Contemporary Art Center.
  16. ^ "Vleeshal".
  17. ^ "Rossella Biscotti (IT/NL) - Alumni". Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.
  18. ^ "Civica 1989 2009 Celebration, Institution, Critique - Announcements - e-flux".
  19. ^ "KB - Rossella Biscotti".
  20. ^ "Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak ‹ Events & Exhibitions ‹ AV Festival 2014: Extraction ‹ Programme ‹ AV Festival". AV Festival.
  21. ^ "Rossella Biscotti. Le teste in oggetto - Nomas Foundation".
  22. ^ "YOU HAVE TO BE FOCUSED - Exhibition - Prometeo Gallery - by Ida Pisani".
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Annual Report 2006-2007". Italian Academy for Advanced Studies - Columbia University. 2 July 2014.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "beyond imagination". Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  27. ^ "Il premio Michelangelo agli anarchici che non archiviano - Firenze -". Firenze - La Repubblica.
  28. ^ "Premio Italia Arte Contemporanea 2010". 6 January 2012.
  29. ^ "STROZZINA - Emerging Talents".
  30. ^ "Rossella Biscotti". Italian Academy for Advanced Studies - Columbia University. 3 September 2014.

External links[edit]