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.


Twenty14 is a cultural organization born in Milano in 2014 with the aim of increase the dialogue between contemporary visual arts. A curatorial duo and gallery space working on selected exhibition projects, cultural events production, communication, education and art consulting.


Diogene was founded in Turin in 2007 as an artistic self-identity group of people working together to create a place for reflecting and exchanging ideas concerning the issues and means of contemporary art practice. Its main projects are 'Bivaccourbano_R', an international...

Association no for profit / Independents Arts Organisation / Public Program / Visual Arts / Other

K-Gold Temporary Gallery

K-Gold Temporary Gallery is a non-profit nomadic platform for contemporary art that was founded in 2014 in the Greek island of Lesvos by Nicolas Vamvouklis. It focuses on collaborative approaches to cultural production within its locality and beyond by activating alternative...

Association no for profit / Exhibitions / Visual Arts / Other

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


An independent place dedicated to research and experimentation in the contemporary context, it is a meeting and exchange point for artists and operators in the cultural sector, invited from time to time to interact with the physical and historical social context where the art...

Artist Run Space / Informal group / Exhibitions / Workshop (seminars / labs / residencies / …) / Visual Arts / Curatorship / Social Practice / Participative art / Public art / Other / Activism / Politics


NoWorkingis a convivial space-time of art in which to develop opportunities to create a possible future in the present. In which to think together through shared artistic, civil and spiritual action. It is a space of discovery, care and hospitality, of one’s self, of others...

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


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


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.

16 December 2021 – 28 August 2022
Carlo Scarpa foyer at MAXXI

A project room conceived to show the public not only works of art but also a particular approach to artistic research.

The title Superstimolo is born out of the eponymous concept theorized by the ethologist and Nobel Prize winner Nikolaas Tinbergen in 1948. Indeed, Tinbergen’s “supernormal stimulus” is an artificial stimulus, quantitatively or qualitatively strengthened with respect to its natural state, causing more intense instinctive reactions. Starting from this premise, the project seeks to corroborate the hypothesis that art itself can be defined as something that activates the visitor in ways that are more complex and diversified with respect to the normal.

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16 February 2021 – 28 August 2022
Carlo Scarpa foyer at MAXXI

On the occasion of MAXXI’s tenth anniversary, the Museum celebrates six years of The Independent, a research project dedicated to independent thought and practice.

The Independent Wall intends to present a retrospective view of the history of the programme conceived by Hou Hanru and curated by Giulia Ferracci and Elena Motisi.

The project presents the online mapping of independent realities, monitoring the territories of initiatives active in this field at national and international level.

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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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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

Glossary of independence


Interview to Olga Gambari (NESXT)

Simone Ciglia

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

Alessandra Pioselli

Manifesto NESXT

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The Independent is a project by Fondazione MAXXI

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