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Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Michela Prencipe


Focusing on the notion of community in relation to multilingualism in the urban context of London, the project explores different ways of communicating that transcend linguistic barriers among those for whom English is not a first language. How can we stimulate critical thinking to reimagine inclusive forms of communication that operate beyond conventional linguistic modalities?

Our project proposal – developed from an initial response to a brief from Chisenhale Gallery – explores multilingualism through the notion of ‘pidgin’ in the context of an English-speaking art school, where the use of language is highly complex. Pidgin, a term born out of the gap that often occurs in translation, presents a situation in which a way of communicating emerges organically among people speaking different languages. Challenging the predominantly monolingual culture within the Royal College of Art, Pidgin offers a way to think and speak about art critically while foregrounding the cultural diversity of the community that inhabits this international institution. How can we pidginise and decentre International Art English, and multilingualise the art school?

Artists and creative practitioners including Yu-Ting Chung and Divya Sharma are invited to explore this question with us through printed matter and ephemera, quintessential forms of visual communication. Comprising a zine-making workshop and a public-facing display, our project questions how multilingualism can be activated in the current system of art education, and how linguistic barriers can be transcended to envision a linguistically diverse community of students. 

In collaboration with:

Chung Yu-Ting

Beatrix Pang

Divya Sharma

Michela Prencipe, November 2022, London.

Michela Prencipe is an Italian curator based in London. 

Her practice is nourished by the notion of conversation and porosity, encounters and fluidity. Michela’s approach is focused on building narratives and draws an inclination towards lived experience. 

Her practice is shaped by an interest in empathic modalities and intuitive processes and lured by the subliminal activity below the threshold of awareness that affects emotions, thoughts, and behavior, linked to the concepts of memory, perception and experience. No certain orientation is presumed in her methodology, where progress and regress act as temporary moments. 

Prior to her time at the Royal College of Art, Michela studied Arts, Media and Cultural Events at IULM University of Milan. Previously based in Milan, she contributed to various exhibitions in contemporary art galleries, working predominantly alongside emerging artists. Before the MA, she was part of the team of ERA Gallery, Milan, a contemporary art gallery with artistic research focused on emerging international artists. Before that, she worked at A.more Gallery, Milan. 

As part of her MA, Michela has collaborated with other students in projects such as “Conversation Pieces”, in response to the partner’s brief set by Chisenhale Gallery. She also collaborated on the project “Pidgin” and co-curated a workshop with artist Yu-Ting Chung. 

In her independent research project, she explores the link between body and mind in relation to physical trauma and physical illness. Her interest is towards the intersection and intimate relation between the psychological, emotional, and physical of unusual or hard-to-articulate experiences, and the blurred field of the physicality of phenomenons and emotional experiences. She intends to articulate and critically engage through the lenses of contemporary art the internalization and the surfacing of the traumatic experience, doing so by moving back and forth between the conceptual and the perceptual.