The Independent is the research project dedicated to independent thinking and practice promoted by MAXXI – the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome. Conceived in 2014 by Hou Hanru, the project is curated by Giulia Ferracci and Elena Motisi with research support from Simone Ciglia and the contribution of Aria Spinelli.

The Project


Independent Groups and Spaces

Independents presents the online mapping of independent entities. Generated in 2014 through an open call, since 2019 it has been extended thanks to the support of a series of contributors who propose each year a selection of the most innovative groups and spaces on the independent scene.


Aspra.mente originated in 2006 from the idea of "work in progress", intended as the conception of interdisciplinary projects which develop over time. The work which arises is often the product of an in-depth preliminary research connected to the socio-cultural context of the...

Informal group / Exhibitions / Public Program / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Visual Arts / Curatorship / Social Practice / Participative art / Public art / Activism / Ecology / Politics


Ramdom is a cultural no-profit organization. Founded in 2011 at the tip of Italy’s heel, Ramdom creates and provides training in contemporary art and promotes mobility through masterclass, workshops, exhibitions and residencies. The association promotes new cultural creative...

Association no for profit / Independents Arts Organisation / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Social Practice / Participative art / Public art / Other


VIAINDUSTRIAE is a non-profit cultural association and architects collective, born in 2005 to manage and "perform" an archive of modern and contemporary art private collection. Then it activates a series of specific projects with the artists seeking to involve them with...

Association no for profit / Independents Arts Organisation / Exhibitions / Publications / Public Program / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Architecture / Urban Planning / Design / Visual Arts / Curatorship / Social Practice / Participative art / Public art / Activism / Ecology / Economy / Gender / Literature / Politics


Emma is a self-organised collaborative and curatorial organisation for artistic and cultural practices, which encourages dialogue and exploration in the arts. It creates learning and residential opportunities for artists and other cultural producers through diverse forms of...

Association no for profit / Exhibitions / Publications / Public Program / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Visual Arts / Curatorship / Activism / Ecology / Economy / Gender / Politics

Radio Papesse

Radio Papesse is an online audio archive devoted to contemporary art; it is a place for the documentation and the articulation of a critical discourse around the visual arts and at the same time it...

Association no for profit / Platform (website / online journal / digital museum / ...) / Public Program / Radio / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Visual Arts / Curatorship / New media / Other / Activism / Music / Politics


CURRENT is a platform started by artists and curators. It is based in an independent space in Milan, a place for experimentation and exhibition of contemporary forms of creation. CURRENT is an artist-run space open to collaborations with other Italian and international artistic...

Artist Run Space / Exhibitions / Public Program / Visual Arts / Activism / Ecology / Gender / Politics

Dryphoto arte contemporanea

Dryphoto is a non-profit cultural space founded in 1977. Thinking about the linguistic meaning of the photographic medium, the mechanisms of sight and the representation of reality, meant getting away from the tenets of photography of an ethnographic and anthropological...

Association no for profit / Independents Arts Organisation / Exhibitions / Public Program / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Visual Arts / Social Practice / Participative art / Public art / Activism / Ecology / Economy / Gender / Politics


Surplace artspace is an independent working space that promotes contemporary art and artistic techniques, blurring the boundaries of the stereotypical roles of the artist, the administrator, the critic, the art gallery manager etc.. The work of art is the core of this...

Artist Run Space / Exhibitions / Visual Arts / Curatorship / Other

The Wall The wall è lo spazio fisico nel museo MAXXI dedicato a The Independent. La parete del foyer Carlo Scarpa è affidata periodicamente a una selezione di realtà indipendenti che presentano, in una configurazione sempre nuova, uno statement sulla propria identità.

27 January – 1 November 2020
Carlo Scarpa foyer at MAXXI

with Andrea Celeste La Forgia
There are no painters but only people who engage in painting among other activities

THE INDEPENDENT, MAXXI’s programme dedicated to independent thought and practice, presents Max Fletcher’s special project in collaboration with Andrea Celeste La Forgia: There are no painters but only people who engage in painting among other activities. The work is the result of a performance conceived for the FRIENDSHIP | SOLIDARITY | ALLIANCES summit on the occasion of the five-year anniversary of THE INDEPENDENT.

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2 April – 29 September 2019
Carlo Scarpa hall at MAXXI

The newest The Independent‘s project – the museum’s programme for independent arts – is made by the Il Colorificio, a curatorial collective and creative space based in Milan since 2016 and winner of i9 – Spazi indipendenti, the no-profit Italian award powered by ArtVerona.

The Il Colorificio’s wall presents Flashing and flashing!: seven works, one for each artist featured –

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12 July 2018 – 17 February 2019
Carlo Scarpa Foyer

The second 2018 event of The Independent revolves around NESXT – Independent Art Network.

NESXT will draw a symbolic map of the practices that inhabit the ever-expanding independent national scene on the wall dedicated to The Independent by proposing a selection of eight projects: Adiacenze (Bologna), Giuseppefraugallery (Gonnesa), Localedue (Bologna), Lu Cafausu (San Cesario di Lecce), Quartiere Intelligente (Napoli), RAVE-East Village Artist Residency (Trivignano Udinese), Spazio Buonasera (Turin), There is no place like home (Rome).

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Garibaldi Journal

Garibaldi is The Independents online magazine. Active since 2017 with a fluid editorial team that for every issue involves intellectuals, critics or contemporary thinkers and/or an independent group. Garibaldi investigates – through a multiple gaze – themes and geographical contexts of the independent practices. 

#05 / July 2018


On the occasion of the MAXXI event, this issue of Garibaldi will be co-edited by NESXT – Independent Art Network. NESXT, which was born in Turin in 2016, is a festival, an observatory and a network devoted to the Italian independent scene, and has been a partner of THE INDEPENDENT since 2017. The space for in-depth analysis provided by the Journal will see NESXT introduce itself through its own manifesto and an interview to Artistic Director Olga Gambari, proposing a reflection on the roots and philosophical statute of independence.


edited by NESXT, Elena Motisi and Simone Ciglia



Soft autonomy

Pietro Gaglianò

Ideal self-management. Groups of artists in the ‘70s

Alessandra Pioselli

Manifesto NESXT

Glossary of independence


Interview to Olga Gambari (NESXT)

Simone Ciglia

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The Independent is a project by Fondazione MAXXI

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