Lavinia Xausa

Community - cross-over - documentair - film - fotografie

Lavinia Xausa was born in 1992 in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. She studied at the faculty of Literature and Philosophy in Bologna where she earned her bachelor's degree with honors in Visual culture and media studies in 2015. In 2017 she accomplished her master’s degree in photography at AKV St. Joost in the Netherlands.

She works, lives and pretends to learn Dutch in Rotterdam, where she is an artist in residence by the Hamburger Community of Art at Roodkapje (2020-2021).

The center of her artistic practice consists in applying semiotics and sacred art research to an ongoing, participatory art practice, by involving groups of people on self-analysis and auto-recognition of their own role in history.

In 2018 she received the Research and Development grant awarded by CBK Rotterdam foundation (NL) for her project Further than Hip Hop and in 2019 she achieved the Stipendium for emerging Artists by the Mondriaan Fund. Her works have been shown at Noorderlicht International Photography Festival, (NL), Organ Vida (HR) and Tent (NL)


CULT!- 2020, photo prints 33 x 45 cm - CULT! is a year project that focuses on the aesthetic of national-populist movements, investigating the social aspects that make them so compelling among the European population. With her work, Lavinia Xausa wants to illustrate that populism is based on the sense of religion and the sacred as it worships symbols and ideals in similar ways as the ones of a cult. Her main concern is that intertwining politics and fanaticism can be dangerous for the rule of law of our countries. In order to show her analogy between populism and cults, Xausa visually investigated those situations where a symbol and a code are worshipped in very powerful and astonishing ways, as for example, in the relationship held between football fans in the stadium. Indeed, they abandon themselves completely, forming a sort of cult. With her work, she wants to create a brand new symbol to worship so as to underline the beauty and the danger of these practices beyond law and democracy.
CULT! A dive into mild water – 2020, full HD video with sound, 8’ - "When you jump from a cliff for the first time and the water embraces you, or when you shout in a sea of hundreds of people, and your voice becomes one with the others, you feel that everything is possible when you belong to a family who supports you. There is no fear or mistake when we are all together." 2020 + CULT! A dive into mild water is a year project that focuses on the aesthetic of national-populist movements, investigating the social aspects that make them so compelling among the European population. With her work, Lavinia Xausa wants to illustrate that populism is based on the sense of religion and the sacred as it worships symbols and ideals in similar ways as the ones of a cult. Her main concern is that intertwining politics and fanaticism can be dangerous for the rule of law of our countries. In order to show her analogy between populism and cults, Xausa visually investigated those situations where a symbol and a code are worshipped in very powerful and astonishing ways, as for example, in the relationship held between football fans in the stadium. Indeed, they abandon themselves completely, forming a sort of cult. With her work, she wants to create a brand new symbol to worship so as to underline the beauty and the danger of these practices beyond law and democracy.
CULT! The Flag; 2020, visual and sound installation, hand-embroidered flag 3x3m - CULT! is a year project that focuses on the aesthetic of national-populist movements, investigating the social aspects that make them so compelling among the European population. With her work, Lavinia Xausa wants to illustrate that populism is based on the sense of religion and the sacred as it worships symbols and ideals in similar ways as the ones of a cult. Her main concern is that intertwining politics and fanaticism can be dangerous for the rule of law of our countries. In order to show her analogy between populism and cults, Xausa visually investigated those situations where a symbol and a code are worshipped in very powerful and astonishing ways, as for example, in the relationship held between football fans in the stadium. Indeed, they abandon themselves completely, forming a sort of cult. With her work, she wants to create a brand new symbol to worship so as to underline the beauty and the danger of these practices beyond law and democracy.
Off-Shore – 2020, Concept Album, 27′, poster - "Off-Shore" is a concept album, directed by Lavinia Xausa in collaboration with the Rotterdam spoken-word artists and musicians Neusa Gomes, Kiki Luitwieler, Kevin Josias, Adeiye Tjon, Rik Zutphen, Kenny Gomes, Shiva Willem, Jephan Esseboom and Ismael Lo. The music and lyrics in the album, are written in response to their conversations about the super-diverse character of Rotterdam, Dutch colonial history and how it continues to this day in Rotterdam communities. "Off-Shore" was produced as a spin-off of the participatory project "Further than Hip Hop".
Further Than Hip Hop – 2020, trailer of full HD video with sound, 20’ - ‘Further than Hip Hop’ (2020) emerged from her inquiry into how several communities in The Netherlands are affected by Dutch colonial history. The work draws a parallel between the word of colonial missionaries of the past and the words of rappers and spoken-word-artists in contemporary Rotterdam. In the film, Neusa Gomes, Kevin Josias, Adeiye Tjon and Rik Zutphen recite texts they wrote in response to a series of conversations Xausa initiated. In carefully chosen words and deliberate tone of voice, they address the lack of a sense of belonging, or the firsthand experience of racism. They voice anger and barely concealed contempt, as well as contemplation. Above all, pain is made palpable. Their critical voices indicate that multiculturalism may mean cultural plurality, but not necessarily togetherness. A shared frame of reference is still lacking. - text by Mariska van den Berg
Nowhere, Now Here – my first vision – , 2017, full HD video with sound, 5’ - Would you recognize something sacred if you saw it in the news? As Umberto Eco explained in many essays, visions and apparitions are always influenced by our cultural visual background and the recognition of sacred icons often refers to archetypes. As in Western countries, Holy Mary is often portrayed recalling the archetype of the mother- with-a-child, my project questions the way we approach and interpret the news and explores the possibility to find something sacred where there seems to be not. If we recognize a mother with a child as a sacred Icon, why don't we apply the same process to all those women crossing the borders with their children? Holy Mary is back, and she's a migrant.
Nowhere, Now Here, 2017, 66 pages, book display - Would you recognize something sacred if you saw it in the news? As Umberto Eco explained in many essays, visions and apparitions are always influenced by our cultural visual background and the recognition of sacred icons often refers to archetypes. As in Western countries, Holy Mary is often portrayed recalling the archetype of the mother- with-a-child, my project questions the way we approach and interpret the news and explores the possibility to find something sacred where there seems to be not. If we recognize a mother with a child as a sacred Icon, why don't we apply the same process to all those women crossing the borders with their children? Holy Mary is back, and she's a migrant.
Nowhere, Now Here , 2017, emergency blanket, video screen, book, display - Would you recognize something sacred if you saw it in the news? As Umberto Eco explained in many essays, visions and apparitions are always influenced by our cultural visual background and the recognition of sacred icons often refers to archetypes. As in Western countries, Holy Mary is often portrayed recalling the archetype of the mother- with-a-child, my project questions the way we approach and interpret the news and explores the possibility to find something sacred where there seems to be not. If we recognize a mother with a child as a sacred Icon, why don't we apply the same process to all those women crossing the borders with their children? Holy Mary is back, and she's a migrant.
Roundabout Love, Roundabout Tehran, 2017, full HD video with sound, 8’04” - “There is a traditional Persian proverb that says: Imagine yourself on the roof of your house and try not to fall down. You'll see that the harder you try to not fall from one side, the easier it will be to fall from the other" Ten years ago in Iran, it wasn’t accepted at all to have a relationship or a girlfriend. Nowadays, it is the exact opposite: we are falling from the opposite side”. During my visit in Iran, I asked some kids to talk about love, sex, and relationships. The memory of their witnesses remains vague and confused. But what actually continues to linger in my mind is the sound of the traffic in the city and the cars running along. Cars are not just vehicles anymore: they are now loyal holders of the hidden, secret things that happen inside.
Roundabout Love, Roundabout Tehran, 2017, full HD video with sound, 8’04”, movie still - “There is a traditional Persian proverb that says: Imagine yourself on the roof of your house and try not to fall down. You'll see that the harder you try to not fall from one side, the easier it will be to fall from the other" Ten years ago in Iran, it wasn’t accepted at all to have a relationship or a girlfriend. Nowadays, it is the exact opposite: we are falling from the opposite side”. During my visit in Iran, I asked some kids to talk about love, sex, and relationships. The memory of their witnesses remains vague and confused. But what actually continues to linger in my mind is the sound of the traffic in the city and the cars running along. Cars are not just vehicles anymore: they are now loyal holders of the hidden, secret things that happen inside.