Delphine Valli | The Impossible Present | Italian Council (10th edition, 2021) Research Fellowship with Foreign Residency

The Impossible Present, the winning research project of the 10th edition of the Italian Council, changes residency. The political situation in Algeria has made it impossible to obtain a visa. The new residency will take place in Morocco, at LE 18 Derb El Ferrane, in the Medina of Marrakech. Faithful to the original intent of the project, the artist reunites with another Mediterranean country and with the Islamic culture in which she lived until her 16th year.

This actual impossibility of reuniting with Algeria nourished the reflection of Delphine Valli on the question of the return often considered utopian though impossible because there is no going back in time. Living the impossibility of return is different from just conceiving it abstractly and the artist has decided to integrate this datum with her project, because it is inextricably bound up with her artistic experience. On another level of reading, the question of freedom and of the limits placed by political power – an experience common to many – pushed her to find a way to get closer to Algeria and to reunite with the Islamic culture, which continues to be at the heart of the project. Changing perspective? Emerging from her study of Islamic art in which perspective is absent because it considers the trajectory of the rays of light and not the image, this variation of the point of view seemed the right answer to get around an impossibility, concrete but perhaps only apparent.

“Perspective has become the expression of anthropocentric thought. (…) Having renounced free perception, the latter remains bound to a single position and a still eye: It is the invention of a dominated world, which is possible to possess from top to bottom only in an instantaneous synthesis. The perspective is not universal, but linked to a certain culture.” (Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad: Renaissance Art and Arab Science)

The residency will take place in two stages:  

– 15 days, 19 June – 3 July 2022 – 2 months, September – October 2022

Curatorial support Melania Rossi

Cultural Partners


Mucem, Department of Research

Opera Mundi

FAI-AR a La Cité des Arts de la Rue

Les Ecrans du Large a La Friche Belle de Mai

Technical Sponsor Parallelo42 Contemporary Art



Project supported by the Italian Council (10th edition, 2021), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture