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Talk: ‘What if’ histories: detection, real fictions & alternate facts

Current exhibiting artist Noor Abu Arafeh has invited art historian and curator Federica Martini to talk examining the role of conjecture, inference and intuition in understanding unrecorded histories.

“Firasa” is a term taken from Sufi philosophy, based on the idea that from clues we can infer the unknown. Historian Carlo Ginzburg defines it as “low intuition”, meaning the methodology applied in detective stories and as a way of understanding alternate histories when documented connections are missing. Taking the notion of “firasa” and “detection” as a starting point, this talk examines themes explored in Noor Abu Arafeh’s video installation Observational Desire on a Memory that Remains (2014), currently on show at The Mosaic Rooms. This installation attempts to present an alternative archive of Palestinian art history by translating undocumented and imagined works in the medium of film, whilst questioning what remains in memory.

Federica Martini (PhD) is an art historian and curator. She was a member of the Curatorial Departments of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Musée Jenisch Vevey and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts/Lausanne. Since 2009, she has been head of the Master programme MAPS – Arts in Public Spheres at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais, Sierre. Martini is currently a fellow at the Swiss Institute in Rome. Her recent projects and publications include Vedi alla voce (Swiss Institute Milan; MAXXX Sierre; Kunstmuseum Thun, 2015) and Open Source and Artistic Research (SARN, 2014); Publishing Artistic Research (SARN, 2014); Tourists Like Us: Critical Tourism and Contemporary Art (with V. Mickelkevicius, Vilnius: Vilnius Academy Press, 2013) and Pavilions /Art in Architecture (with R. Ireland, ECAV-La Muette, 2013).

FREE, rsvp@mosaicrooms.org


Federica Martini | talks


Date and Time:

30 January 2016 at 11:30 pm


1 hour



The Mosaic Rooms
Tower House
226 Cromwell Road

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