fORUM: Giulia Damiani

7 October 2022 1pm

Le Nemesiache in 1970s and 1980s Naples: a gallery tour, group reading, and conversation between Giulia Damiani and Helena Reckitt

“WE DENOUNCE the violence which deprived ourselves of our bodies, of our expressions and of our extensions. CREATIVITY IS POLITICAL, it is life, routine, erotics, in harmony with nature and the cosmos.” — Le Nemesiache, 1977

Based in the southern Italian city of Naples, the feminist group Le Nemesiache was founded by artist Lina Mangiacapre in 1969 and was active throughout the following two decades. The collective experimented with creativity and the arts as routes towards liberation and fulfilment within daily life, and to oppose the exploitation of the landscape surrounding the city of Naples.

Giulia Damiani, in conversation with Helena Reckitt, reflects on what the history of Le Nemesiache can offer to ideas of feminist transmission, intergenerational exchange, archival activation, and storytelling. This event includes an out-loud reading of Le Nemesiache’s theatre manifesto “If Within Several Ideologies One Part of Reality is Not Accounted For” (1975), which introduces their methodology psicofavola, the psycho-fable: an embodied approach to creating disruptive feminist genealogies for the past and present. A copy of the text will be provided in advance to all event registrants.

Sharing memories and mythologies from the group and of her encounter with them, the conversation and out-loud reading will build on Damiani’s curatorial tour of From the Volcano to the Sea: The Feminist Group Le Nemesiache II, currently on view at Chelsea Space, London: a recording of the tour will be sent to participants in advance of the conversation.

Giulia Damiani is a writer, researcher, curator, and performer based in London and Amsterdam. Since 2013 she has researched the artistic and political activity of the Naples-based feminist group Le Nemesiache, collaborating with the group and various artists. Damiani’s research, which culminated in a PhD at Goldsmiths University in London in 2021, considers how Le Nemesiache’s ritual and performative practice countered Western logic and its universalising concepts. Her performances and speculative writing have visited places such as the Temple of Mercury in Baia, the grotto of the Cumaean Sibyl near Naples, and the volcanic areas of Vesuvius and Phlegraean Fields, proposing reinterpretations that combine mythic antiquity and future invocations.

Helena Reckitt is a curator, writer, and researcher with a longstanding interest in feminist and queer art, theory and activism. Since 2015 she has coordinated the monthly Feminist Duration Reading Group, a collective research framework dedicated to under-represented feminisms. She is currently Reader in Curating in the Art Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, and was formerly Senior Curator of Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto (2006–2010). Reckitt has curated exhibitions in the UK, US, and Canada, including Getting Rid of Ourselves, Onsite Gallery, OCAD University, Toronto (2014); Not Quite How I Remember It, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2008); and What Business Are You In?, Atlanta Contemporary Art Centre (2004). She is Consultant Editor for The Art of Feminism: The Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality (Chronicle Books, 2019 and 2022); and editor of Sanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine (The Calvert Journal, 2013), as well as Art and Feminism (Phaidon Press, 2001). Reckitt was co-editor of Acting on AIDS (Serpent’s Tail, 1998).


fORUM: Giulia Damiani is the first in a series of four events guest programmed by Resonance and Transmission that extend on the themes of the exhibition Aimée Zito Lema: Scryer in the Archive. 

Resonance and Transmission is organized by a group of curators, writers and researchers based in London, Montréal, Toronto, and Amsterdam interested in overlooked feminist histories and generational processes of knowledge transmission, comprising Giulia Damiani, Gabrielle Moser, Vanessa Parent and Helena Reckitt.

fORUM is Mercer Union’s ongoing series of talks, lectures, interviews, screenings, and performances. Admission to our public programming is free, and all are welcome.