Francesca Zappia is an independent curator and writer based in Glasgow. She graduated in “History of Visual Arts and Conservation of Artistic Heritage” from the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice and in “Contemporary Art and Its Exhibition” from La Sorbonne-Paris IV. As an exhibitions’ officer she has worked with the FRAC Ile-de-France and the François Pinault Foundation in Paris.
Since 2014, Francesca works as an independent curator focusing her research around transmission of memory and knowledge production in artistic practices and, widely, in our culture. Her online platform “past-forward.net” explores new forms of presentation of artistic production in the space of the Internet, while showing the diversity of artistic approaches addressing these questions.
Her curatorial programme “East End Transmissions” (The Pipe Factory, Glasgow, 2014) wished to raise a critical debate about the obliteration of the local history of the East End of Glasgow within its recent gentrification. Collecting and then transmitting voices from the community, artists and researchers, “East End Transmissions” worked as an open-source model aiming to de-hierarchise access to knowledge in an inclusive way.
“The Raoul Reynolds: A Retrospective” project (Scotland Street School Museum, Glasgow; La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille 2016) was an experimental collaborative ‘writing’ of an exhibition carried out with Scottish and French artists. It developed into the creation of the life and work of the fictional artist Raoul Reynolds starting from each artist’s shared references in order to build a possible art historical narration spanning from the Glasgow Style to Minimalism.
More recently, she has presented the project “L’intrigue se cherche dans le déroulement de son nœud” (la compagnie, Marseille, May-June 2018): a year-long exchange with artists Douglas Morland and Doriane Souilhol exploring structures of languages and the space of misinterpretation that comes from translating another language into one’s own mother tongue.
She is currently running a monthly discussion group at the CCA Glasgow called “The Curator’s Workshop”. This intends to be a tool for peer-learning on curatorial practices and contemporary art theory. Topics of discussion span from post-colonial studies to ecology and public engagement.
In 2015-16 Francesca obtained a grant from the Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Paris for her project “Curatorial research and the reproduction of artworks: a cultural exploration of the Fonds national d’art contemporain”. Within this research she questions the social, sociological, political, cultural and art-historical reasons under the production of manual and technical reproductions of masterpieces within the varied historical and cultural contexts that have occurred since the creation of the CNAP collection in 1791. She is now working on a book that will present the research, published by the CNAP and Shelter Press.