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Vittoria Bonifati

MA work

Turn The Tide

At a time when nationalist agendas and a renewed belief in the nation-state is gaining ground, freedom of movement across countries is increasingly threatened. Whilst geographical border controls are intensified to reduce the flow of people from one place to another, decreased financial regulations enables capital to circulate easily across the globe, accelerated via secondary routes such as financial offshore centers and tax havens. Within this context, can the offshore company offer a model to investigate ways of thinking and experiencing citizenship differently? 

Turn The Tide is an offshore company which temporarily operated from a boardroom based in the Dyson Gallery at the Royal College of Art. In this office environment, constructed from newly commissioned and existing works by international artists, members of the public were invited to take ownership of the company by participating in public board meetings. Through a series of live discussions Turn The Tide aimed to establish a fluid space to explore how new, more flexible models of citizenship could be reached through sharing the company’s ownership.  

Each meeting was transcribed live and printed copies of these new minutes were given to all participants who attended the event. This document acted as a bearer-share: turning the individual into a permanent share-holder and company owner. With this process, Turn The Tide attempted to activate real collective space dedicated to the production of shared knowledge.

Turn The Tide’s temporary boardroom has been produced by: 

Eva Barto, Julie Béna, Jesse Darling, Martti Kalliala, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, 

Aron Kullander-Östling / Centre of Nowhere and John Menick.


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2017

  • The play of light. Thinking through the prism of the exhibition.

    My MA dissertation considers the exhibition as a structure composed by time and space, and questions in particular the role of light within it. There are three chapters (rays), treating light, respectively, in relation to space, time, and its symbolic value. How is the perception of space influenced by the use of light and how are the artworks within it altered in turn? How is the perception of time influenced by the use of light? What meanings can light evoke, beyond space and time?

    I examine the ways in which light affects the viewer’s perception, thus comprehension, of an exhibition, from the practical to the symbolic and the poetic. I use the metaphor of the stage (or set) for the exhibition, with the choreographer as curator. Since light has always been such a principal concern for artists, it seems right that it should be more fully questioned within the contemporary curatorial discourse. But light – in art as much as in reality – is hard to pin down; perhaps that is why aesthetic arguments have tended to work their ways around it – it is difficult, maybe impossible, to offer concrete rules for an element that is, by nature and by quality, fleeting and insubstantial. Therefore, I choose to restrict my conclusions to experience, and bind them to particular examples of regular practices or specific artworks in film, exhibition making and artist’s practices. From Dwoskin’s Shadows of Light to Ragghianti’s Urne Etrusche di Volterra. From the 1993 exhibition Affective Light to Banner’s Stamp Out Photographie. From Barry Flanagan’s Light Pieces to Maria Nordman’s Saddleback Mountain. From Thomas Hutton’s Flat, Block,Flat to Christopher Page’s Exterior. (Morning.). Each conjures its own associated moods; each has its own intrinsic significance.

    In the early twentieth century, many were the attempts - especially by artists and exhibitions designers - to subvert the conventional form of art exhibitions. Their critique was directed at the “bourgeois institution of art”, and to the passive experience of art in its exhibition spaces. Could the critique, today, be directed elsewhere, by a different approach to light?

  • Degrees

  • Art History at Università La Sapienza, Rome, 2013
  • Experience

  • Curator, Meditative Tuesdays, Fiorucci Art Trust, 2016; Curator, Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, India, 2014-2015; Editorial assistant, The Art Newspaper, London, 2015; Assistant curator, Fondazione Santarelli, Rome, 2011-2014; Assistant curator, VISIO - Schermo dell'Arte Film Festival, 2013; Gallery assistant, Gagosian Gallery, Rome, 2012
  • Exhibitions

  • Turn The Tide, Dyson Gallery, RCA, 2017; Robyn Beeche. Selected Works 1979–1987, My Parent's House, 2017; Brgy. South Kensington, My Parent's House, 2017; Alain Danielou and Raymond Burnier, Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, 2015; Fazal Sheikh. Ether, Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, 2014
  • Publications

  • 10 Year Book, ISBN 819289080-7, 2015, 176 pages