Marinella Senatore

b. 1977, Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy.
Resides between Paris, France & Rome, Italy. Works in site-specific locations (in situ).

The School of Narrative Dance

2013 – 2016

The School of Narrative Dance



York Symphony



Through her participatory art practice, Marinella Senatore questions the bio-politics of different communities through mass coordinated action and group calisthenics, circumventing the traditional roles of artist and audience to create an exciting and contagious new artistic movement. Expanding on the collective resources of the communities engaged in her projects, Senatore constructs experiences based on a didactic model of instruction and participation, offering a platform for collaboration and social mobilisation. Her filmic approach to the relationship between public engagement and art transcends the systematic institutionalisation and commodification of contemporary art, and strives to contribute ethically towards the narrative of a more democratic, shared creativity.

Senatore works across multiple disciplines, including elements of performance, installation, video art, photography, and collage. In 2013, Senatore developed The School of Narrative Dance, an ongoing project and central instrument in the machinery of her practice. The School is a migratory construct based around the notion of a collective choreographic experience, as a vehicle for the creative process, establishing ad hoc workshops and tutorial spaces in specific communities by means of an open call campaign – amassing over 20,000 participants for her filmic opera, Rosas, in 2012, and with considerably more ambitious projects in motion. Senatore acts as facilitator, with the School offering introductory courses in skills such as choreography, acting, scriptwriting, and costume design, or employing the contributors’ existing skills. Each project culminates into a festive public appearance, combining elements of parade, performance, protest, and theatre.


Marinella Senatore was born in 1977 in Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy. After receiving her Master of Arts Degree (MA) in music, from Domenico Cimarosa Conservatorio di musica Avellino, in Avellino, Italy in 1997, Senatore went on to complete two Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees from the Fine Art School, in Naples, Italy, in 1998; and the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), Spain, in 2006. In addition, Senatore attended the Centro Superimentale di Cinematografia (National Film School), in Rome, Italy, graduating in 2001. The artist is currently completing her Doctorate in Art Studies through UCLM, Spain, where she was also a professor for seven years. Senatore was also a professor at the Complutense University of Madrid for six years, as well as a visiting scholar and researcher at various universities in Rome, Italy; the University of Granada, Spain; State University of New York, and Columbia University, both in New York, USA; among others.

Senatore has received multiple awards, grants and recognitions internationally. Most notable of these include: the prestigious MAXXI Prize in Rome and the “Museum Calls Artist” commission of AMACI (Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums) in 2014; the Fellowship for Young Italian Artists at Castello di Rivoli, Turin in 2013; the Gotham Prize in New York in 2012; an Affiliated Fellowship at The American Academy in Rome and Finalist for the Furla Art Award, Bologna in 2011; and The New York Prize, the 21st Bellisario Award, and the Terna Prize in Rome, all in 2010. Her most recent achievements include The Evelyn Award from the York Museum in York, UK, and the International Art Grant from The Foundation of Arts and Music for Dresden Awards in Dresden, Germany, both in 2017.

In addition, Senatore has been awarded numerous international residencies. Most recently, she was the Artist in Residence at: The Thalie Art Foundation in Brussels, Belgium, in 2018; at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in 2016, and at the Centre International d’ Accueil et d’Echanges des Récollets Artist Residency, in 2015, both in Paris, France.

Senatore has been selected to participate in multiple Biennale’s, including the Quadriennale di Roma, curated by Matteo Luchetti at the Palzzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, Italy in 2016; the 13th Biennale de Lyon, curated by Ralph Rugoff in Lyon, France, as well as the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art curated by Katerina Gregos in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2015; Leisure, Discipline and Punishment as part of the Liverpool Biennale of Contemporary Art in Liverpool, UK and the 12th Bienal de Cuenca in Cuenca, Equador in 2014; the 7th Göteborg International Biennale for Contemporary Art in Göteborg, Sweden and the 6th Biennial of the Moving Image in Mechelen, Belgium in 2013, and the 11th Havana Biennial in 2012 in La Habana, Cuba. In 2011, Senatore was included in the 54th Venice Biennale, curated by Bice Curiger, presenting two related projects: Her Estman Radio Drama (2011), an installation featuring an audio drama in four parts, written and performed by 500 former factory workers from Marghera, Italy, and broadcast by 75 Italian radios during the Biennale; the second project, titled Nui Simu (That’s Us) (2010), was a single channel video work conceived by retired miners from the Sicilian town of Enna in collaboration with students from the University of Catania, where participants took on the roles of non-professional actors, costume designers, camera operators and set designers. The project was produced by the Riso Museum in Palermo, Italy.

Notably in 2017, a retrospective on Senatore’s work from 2009, titled Piazza Universale / Social Stages, was presented at the Queens Museum in New York, USA. During the opening, the artist presented a public performance, titled Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration: Part II – bringing together 350 participants from a range of activist groups and cultural organisations throughout the city, including members of Black Lives Matter NYC and the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band. The performance was held as celebration of the civic engagements in New York City.

Senatore’s work has been widely exhibited at international institutions, including: Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Queens Museum, New York, USA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; The High Line, New York, USA; Para/Site, Hong Kong; Istanbul Modern, Turkey; Serpentine Galleries, London, UK; ISCP, New York, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Ongoing group exhibitions include Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palermo, Italy; Agora, curated by Cecilia Alemani, New York City, USA; Declaration, curated by Stephanie Smith, Institution of Contemporary Art Richmond, USA and Seeing artists voices, curated by Miguel von Hafe Perez, Porto, Portugal.

On the 16th of June 2018 at Manifesta 12 Palermo, Marinella Senatore presented an urban performance and multimedia installation, Palermo Procession. For Palermo Procession, the local community was involved in its entirety. The project focused on the idea of narration as an experience that can be explored through non-hierarchical learning, self-training and the creation of an active citizenship also through dance and the process parade.


[upcoming] Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) | Tel Aviv, Israel | 2021

[upcoming] The School of Narrative Dance: Cape Town Procession | Iziko South African National Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2019

[upcoming] Bodies in Alliance / Politics of the Street | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2019

[upcoming] TBT | Kunsthraum Innsbruck | Austria | 2019

[upcoming] Sounds of Dresden | Albertinum Museum | Dresden |2019

[upcoming] TBT | Van Abbemuseum | Eindhoven | 2019

[upcoming] Post-Water | Museo Nazionale della Montagna CAI Torino | Turin, Italy | 2019

ZIGZAGZEGZUG | Gruppo operaio E’ Zezi with the participation of Marinella Senatore | Laveronica arte contemporanea | Modica, Italy | 2018

The School of Narrative Dance | The National Theater Mannheim and Kunsthalle Mannheim | Mannheim, Germany | 2018

WE the KIDS public project | in collaboration with OVS & Peggy Guggenheim Collection | Venice, Italy | 2018

Solo PresentationFNB Joburg Art Fair | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa | 2018

London Procession | curated by Ralph Rugoff | Hayward Gallery | London, UK | 2018

Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration Part III (featuring Giacomo Leopardi) | curated by P.P Pancoto | Villa Medici | Rome, Italy | 2018

“Il corpo è un indument sacro” (Martha Graham), screening at the Museo del Novecento | curated by Paola Ugolini as part of In Between Art Film, Florence, Italy | 2018

TBT  | Kunsthalle Innsbruck, Austria | 2018 

Piazza Universale / Social Stages | Queens Museum | New York City, USA | 2017

PROCESSION | Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon, Portugal | 2017

York Symphony | York Museum, York, UK | 2017

Zurich Parade, curated by M. Varadinis | Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland | 2017

MOVE: Marinella Senatore – The School of Narrative Dance Paris, curated by Kathryn Weir, as part of MOVE, Centre Pompidou | Paris, France | 2017

Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration Part I | Teatro Garibaldi | Modica, Italy | 2017

Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration acoustic version | BAK Basis voor Actuele Kunst | Utrecht | 2017

L’école de Marinella Senatore | Les Laboratoires D’Aubervilliers, France | 2016

The School of Narrative Dance | Miami Procession | Faena Forum | Florida, USA | 2016


[upcoming] Investec Cape Town Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Cape Town International Convention Cenre (CTICC) |Cape Town, South Africa | 2019

[upcoming] +one | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

[upcoming] The Social Ecosphere: Ecologies of Work and Migration | curated by M. Watson | Oulu Museum | Valve Cultural Center | Finland | 2019

[upcoming] The Quest of Happiness | curated by M.S. Bottai | Serlachius Museums | Mänttä, Finland | 2019

[upcoming] Wall-Eyes. Looking at Italy and Africa | curated by I. Bernardi | Italian Institute of Culture of South Africa as part of Keyes Art Mile |  Johannesburg, South Africa | 2019

[upcoming] TBT | < rotor > Association for Contemporary Art | Graz, Austria | 2019

[upcoming] TBT | Feldfünf | Projekträume im Metropolenhaus | Berlin, Germany | 2019

[upcoming] TBT | curated by M. Brit | Montréal, MAC Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal | Canada | 2019

[upcoming] TBT | curated by J. K. Thiemann | Q18 | Cologne, Germany | 2019

#VillaMedicimylove | curated by Pier Paolo Pancotto | ARTCLUB #27- Villa Medici | Rome, Italy | 2019

Wish You Were Here | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

FNB Joburg Art Fair | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2018

In Addition | Curated by Andrew Carr | Mostyn, Wales, UK | 2018 – 2021

Declaration | Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) | Richmond, USA | 2018

Power to the People: Political Art Now | Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt | 2018

I Plan to Stay a Believer | Andrew Kreps Gallery | New York City, USA | 2017

Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, curated by Hanrou Hou, Meng Yan & Yang Yong | Shenzhen, China | 2017

Action!, curated by M.Varadinis | Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland | 2017

Extra-Citizen, curated by A. Alampi & I. Fokianaki | Extra City Kunsthal | Antwerpen, Belgium |2017

Copenhagen Procession | Code Art Fair | Copenhagen, Denmark | 2017

Good luck with your Natural, Combined, Attractive and Truthful Attempts in Two Exhibitions, exhibition & public performance | curated by F. Oliveira & E. Turpin | Fundação Eugénio de Almeida | Évora, Portugal | 2017

Notes on Italia Videoarte | Palazzo Valmarana | Venice, Italy | 2017

Due South, curated by M. Bernstein | The Delaware Contemporary | Wilmington, USA | 2017

Habit-co-habit, Pune Biennale, curated by Z. Colah | L. Cerizza, Pune, India | 2017

Writing about Music, Dancing, about Architecture | Waterside Contemporary, London, UK | 2017


Claire Keeton | Times Live | Pussy Riot likely to perform in Cape Town after secret visit | 30 November 2018 – PDF

Kimberly Bradley | The New York Times | A City at the Crosswords Examines Migration, Through Art | 22 June 2018 – PDF

Desirée Maida | Artribune | Palermo Procession: la performance di Marinella Senatore per Manifesta è una festa per la città | 18 June 2018

Vincenzo Merola | Artribune | Versus. Il dibattito tra partecipazione e introspezione | 14 January 2018 – PDF

C Michelle | Medium | Contemporary Artists You Should Know | 15 October 2017 – PDF

Terence Trouillot | Artnet | The Community Whisperer: How Marinella Senatore Is Taking Social-Practice Art to New Heights | 28 July 2017 – PDF

Alexxa Gotthardt | Artsy | The 20 Best Booths at The Armory Show | 2 March 2017 – PDF

Widewalls | Per4m Section of Artissima 2016 Celebrates Contemporary Performance | 4 November 2016 – PDF

Andrew Hunt | Frieze | 13th Biennale de Lyon | 21 October 2015  – PDF