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.


Marinella Senatore’s will be be presenting a solo exhibition titled Conservation Piece | Part V, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, which will open on the 15th of December at Fondazione Memmo in Rome, Italy.

Senatore’s ongoing solo exhibition ZIGZAGZEGZUG at galleria Laveronica, Modica, Italy until 8 December 2018.

Ongoing group exhibitions include Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palermo, Italy; Agora, curated by Cecilia Alemani, New York, 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] The School of Narrative Dance: Cape Town Procession, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa | 2019

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

MétallOpérette | Thalie Foundation, Brussels,  Belgium | 2017

Sounds of Dresden | Albertinum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden | 2018

WE the KIDS public project, Guggenheim Museum Venice, Italy | 2018

The School of Narrative Dance | The National Theater Mannheim, Germany | 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

London Procession | Art Night 2018 | Hayward Gallery | London, UK | 2018 

Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration Part III (featuring Giacomo Leopardi) | Villa Medici, Rome, 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, US | 2016


[upcoming] Wish You Were Here | Cape Town | 29.11.18 – 19.01.19