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Margherita Moscardini
Donoratico, Leghorn 1981
Degree: Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna
Currently lives and works in Donoratico

The Fountains of Za’atari, a multidimensional project from artist Margherita Moscardini that has been in development since 2015, based on research into refugee camps as urban spaces that are destined to last, was presented form Collezione Maramotti for the 2019 Fotografia Europea festival, entitled “Bonding.Intimacy, relationships, new worlds”.

Although they are meant to be temporary, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) the average camp remains in use for 17 years.

The Za’atari refugee camp, located in a semi-desert area of northern Jordan, was founded in 2012 to house Syrians fleeing conflict in their home country. In 2014 its population reached 150,000, making it the second largest refugee camp in the world. Today it has roughly 80,000 residents, and Za’atari is recognised as the fourth-largest city in Jordan in terms of its area.

Moscardini worked both outside and inside the camp between September 2017 and March 2018 to produce an inventory of the courtyards with fountains that residents have built inside their homes. This mapping project was carried out alongside the journalist Marta Bellingreri and a working group managed by the engineer Abu Tammam Al Khedeiwi Al Nabilsi, with the goal of producing a catalogue of the courtyards in book form.

The Fountains of Za’atari aims to establish a system through which local governments and civic institutions can buy life-size sculptures that reproduce the various courtyards with fountains in the Za’atari camp, for display in public spaces across Europe. The designer of thefountain will benefit directly from the sale, thereby creating a virtuous system that supports the camp’s economy.

Moscardini’s idea is that the sculptures, modelled on courtyards with fountains, should receive special jurisdiction that includes elements of extraterritoriality, which over time would qualify them as spaces where the law does not apply, “black holes and power vacuums on national soil”.

This ambition responds to questions posed by the artist: how can one convey the condition of stateless people in search of refuge in sculptural form? And, leaving symbolism aside, can an object be granted all the immunities enjoyed (thanks to various agreements) by the Earth’sstates and governmental bodies?

An early version of theThe Fountains of Za’atari project was presented at the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome in 2018, after it won the first Italian Council competition, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.

In Reggio Emilia, Moscardini’s project has grown, developing a new level of complexity and establishing itself as a fully-functioning system.

Two elements were presented: the first public sculpture (for which the legal process of bestowing extraterritoriality has begun) in one of the city’s parks – supported by Collezione Maramotti and welcomed in a spirit of enthusiasm and collaboration by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia–and an artist’s book narrating the project’s themes and expanding on them in various directions.
Source: Official Press Kit / Collezione Maramotti

Cover Image / Thumbnail Image
Margherita Moscardini
Inventory. The Fountains of Za’atari
video still, 4k format, 31 min.
The video-documentary was filmed in Jordan between September 2017 and March 2018
Winner Italian Council 2017 MiBAC- DGAAP
Courtesy Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Roma

Solo Show
2008 „Terza stanza“, Galleria Spazio A, Pistoia
2009 (DETAIL), Villa la Magia, Quarrata
2010 „Una stanza / fuori luogo“, Galleria Spazio A, Pistoia
2011 A project for an ancient bath, Art today Center for Contemporary Art, Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
2011„Studio per un‘erosione“, Fondazione la Quadriennale di Roma
2012 „1 x Unknown“, Museo MACRO, Roma
2013 „Annexe – 1xUnknown“, Ex-Elettrofonica, Roma Istanbul City Hills, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Istanbul

Group Show
2007 Mulhouse 007, Parc Expo de la Ville de Mulhouse
2007Pinacoteca Agnelli Prize, Artissima, Lingotto Fiere, Torino
2008 „Bourgeois plaisir“, Galleria Spazio A, MIART, Milano
2008 Ad‘ A, area d’azione, Musei Civici di Imola Corso aperto, Ex-Chiesa S. Francesco, Como
2008 „Tempo / Competizione / Performance“, Nosadella due, Bologna
2008 „Public Improvisations“, Care of c/o Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano
2009 Ausstellung am Ende des von Peter Friedl geleiteten Workshops | Mostra finale del Workshop a cura di Peter Friedl, Fondazione Spinola Banna, Poirino (Torino)
2009 „Innesti“, Fabbrica delle Candele, Forli
2009 „Eppisitis“, Teatro Studio Scandicci, Firenze
2010 „In full bloom“, Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano
2010 „Things can change quickly“, Via Malaga 14, Milano
2010 „Lo spazio bianco“, 26cc, Roma Festa Mobile, ArtFirstOff, Bologna
2010 „Coll-Leccio“, Art Foundation Mallorca, CCA, Andrax
2011 Emerging Talents 2011, CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
2010 Premio Ariane de Rothschild, Palazzo Reale, Milano
2010 Biennale Giovani Monza, Serrone della Villa Reale, Monza
2012 Nuova Gestione, Quadraro, Verschiedene Orte in Rom | Diversi luoghi a Roma
2012 „Officine 2“, Bologna, Cesena, Milano
2012 Premio Tema 04, Tempio di Adriano, Roma
2013 „Past For Ward“, Centro Arti visive di Pietrasanta
2013 „Oltre il giardino“, Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia
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