BSR Fine Arts Talk: the age we are living in


Justin Randolph Thompson (BSR)


This talk will be in English.

This event will take place via Zoom and requires advance registration. Please click here to reserve your place.

A limited number of in-person spaces are also available. Everyone attending an event in Rome must pre-register using the link below, and will be required to present a valid Covid vaccination pass.

The age we are living in is a talk dedicated to the research and activism of artist and Research Fellow at the BSR, Justin Randolph Thompson. Traversing Black history in the context of Italy, and underlining strategies and platforms for resistance across centuries in this territory, the presentation is a screening and sharing of artistic research in dialogue with the eight research platforms that make up the newly inaugurated Black cultural center that Thompson directs, The Recovery Plan. Engaging notions of recovery and a practice of collective organizing, newly formulated research and methodologies recently experimented ground a push to consider the capacity of institutions to re-imagine their own positionality and roles in perpetuating, or safeguarding against the proliferation of gate keeping anchored in a history of marginalization. Drawing its title from a quote extracted from a 1971 William Demby interview, where he discusses a tremendous capacity for mobility not just physically but in our perception of images, the talk intends to wrestle with what we assume about the role of geography in determining our social realities and all of those unspoken notions embedded in geo-social space.

Justin Randolph Thompson is a new media artist, cultural facilitator and educator born in Peekskill, NY in ’79. Living based in Italy since 1999, Thompson is Co-Founder and Director of Black History Month Florence, a multi-faceted exploration of African and African Diasporic cultures in the context of Italy founded in 2016 and of the newly inaugurated Black cultural center The Recovery Plan. Serving as a research fellow at The British School at Rome and an advisor to the fellows at the American Academy in Rome, Thompson is a recipient of a 2020 Italian Council Research Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a Franklin Furnace Fund Award, a Visual Artist Grant from the Fundacion Marcelino Botin, two Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants, a Jerome Fellowship from Franconia Sculpture Park and an Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park. His work and performances have been exhibited widely in institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and The American Academy in Rome and are part of numerous collections including The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Museo MADRE. His life and work seek to deepen the discussions around socio-cultural stratification and hierarchical organization by employing fleeting temporary communities as monuments and fostering projects that connect academic discourse, social activism and DIY networking strategies in annual and biennial gathering, sharing and gestures of collectivity.