Lodovica Guarnieri & Lorenzo Gerbi


Lodovica Guarnieri is a freelance researcher and designer based in The Netherlands. Her practice-based research works at the intersection between design, history and politics, and uses design as means for both research and aesthetic elaboration. By addressing different scales, from the smallest material components to the infrastructures of capital flows, Lodovica uses texts, videos and installations as poetic escamotages for unveiling hidden power relationships. Since 2016 she has been collaborating as a researcher and writer with several cultural institutions in The Netherlands. Besides her own practice, she is a member of Ficional Collective, an international collective of designers working in the field of research, exhibitions and publications.

Lorenzo Gerbi is a freelance designer, art director and cultural producer based in Eindhoven (NL). Since April 2015, he has managed the internal design studio and the education activities of Baltan Laboratories, a collaborative platform for alternative perspectives that looks at society through the lenses of art, science, design and technology. Besides Baltan Laboratories, he works as freelance information designer, freelance cultural producer for film festivals (Turin, IT / Rio de Janeiro, BR), contributor for Wired Magazine Italy and external mentor at Fontys University of Applied Science (Eindhoven, NL) and Avans University of Applied Science (Den Bosch, NL).


HD Video, 32’, with sound

Nabati is a video essay in four chapters exploring the colonial and neo-colonial relations underlying Australian national culture. In a patchwork of apparently mismatching elements, the four chapters draw attention on the unseen connections of Australia with the Arab and Persian worlds in the areas of sport, land, defense and borders. The Flemington Racecourse, which is the first racecourse of Melbourne and a symbol of Australia’s colonial legacy, offers the starting point for this exploration. Established during the Gold Rush period, the sporting attraction is the epitome of Australia’s national representation upon British culture. But the Emirates sponsorship of the Racecourse creates the context for the essay to further expose the ongoing dialogue with Arab elements which had underlied Australian national sovereignty since its beginning. Conceptually starting from the Flemington Racecourse, the tours are structured around different modern buildings in the City of Melbourne. And although mimicking the structure of touristic tours, the journey of Nabati aims to spotlight the modern global authorities held beyond the faceless facades of those buildings. Moreover, by highlighting the tight relationships between Australia and the Middle East Region, the project questions the parameters which regulate the acceptance or rejection of what is depicted as foreign.

Nabati was realised with the support of the City of Melbourne 2016 Arts Grants Program. It was developed as a part of the KINGS Artist-Run 2016 project ‘Starting Point’ in Melbourne.