Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Giulia Antonioli

MA work

The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase

How can we be fugitive within formal educational models? How can illegibility generate alternative and disruptive practices?

Inspired by the writing of Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Studies  'The waste lives for those moments beyond teaching when you give away the unexpected beautiful phrase – unexpected, no one has asked, beautiful, it will never come back.' The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase considers how the fugitive learner navigates institutional space and refuses legibility. Taking place at Nottingham Contemporary, The Space, this day-long programme of performances, screenings and conversations, explores ideas around education and critical pedagogies with the aim of articulating the tactics of a non-normative, tacit and embodied learning.

Featuring new and existing works by Rosa Johan Uddoh, Christopher Kirubi, Raju Rage, Holly Pester, Jules Sturm, Dorine van Meel, Department for International Dance Development (DIDD), and Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman.

This event invites audiences to reflect on how the fugitive learner navigates and subverts institutional space, using their own body as a container and disseminator of knowledges that refuse legibility.


  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2019

  • Interested in liveness, performance and durational moments, through my curatorial practice, I aim to interweave different voices with action, allowing for embodied encounters to broaden the mere exhibitionary format. By supporting collaborations with emerging artists, I am concerned with fostering durational, relational and cross-cultural transmissions in order to seek and develop generative possibilities that foreground artistic investigation.

    Drawing on public programmes and events as potential strategies that look at establishing wider collaborations within and beyond the art world, I strongly believe in the powerful gesture of bringing bodies together. This has also been the focus of the public programme I curated for the graduate project The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase in collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary, where alternative modes of learning were analysed through ideas of fugitivity and illegibility.

    Throughout my research, I have been exploring curatorial practices and feminist approaches related to conversational formats – reading groups, workshops and events – that create time for care, intimacy, co-dependence and repetition. By adopting the Feminist Duration Reading Group (FDGR) in London as the overarching theme of my dissertation, I examined how it can be seen as deriving from feminist tactics and formats, and how these can potentially challenge the representational regimes of more traditional exhibitionary forms, intended as merely showing and displaying. Through the chapters, I examined the concepts of spatiality and format in relation to the FDRG, aligning them with historical examples; I then expanded on the idea of durational transmission and its generative possibility for re-enacting the latent potential of earlier undervalued feminisms in their mutual contagions across time and space; to then conclude by analysing the collective act of reading aloud as a powerful practice, that enables reflections on the texts and its materiality, but also gives insights to the complex activity of listening.

    Current areas of research include exploring immersive ways of ‘reading' that expand beyond the mere eyes-on-a-page, together with an interest in challenging the documentation and mediation of performative and durational modes, acknowledging their layered spatio-temporal dimensions.

  • Degrees

  • MA History of Arts and Conservation of Artistic Heritage, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, 2016; BA Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, 2013; MA Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture, Exchange Programme with Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2015
  • Experience

  • Production assistant, Block Universe Performance Festival, London, 2018; Digitisation assistant, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 2017–18; Exhibitors assistant, Frieze Art Fair, London, 2017–18; Gallery assistant, Fiumano Projects, London, 2017; Studio assistant, Daniel Canogar Studio, Madrid, 2015; Educational internship, Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice, 2013
  • Exhibitions

  • 'The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase', Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, 2019
  • Conferences

  • After Representation: Towards a Feminist and Fugitive Curatorial Practice, 'Making Cultural Space: A Collaborative Symposium', Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art, London, December 2018