The exhibition Third Space by Aryan Ozmaei, developed from the artwork A Day at the Anthropological Museum of Florence, is located between MAD Murate Art District, which has already dedicated numerous projects to Postcolonial and Decolonization, and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, which inspired this first work, in 2019.
The archaeological attitude of Aryan Ozmaei’s painting led her to come across the collections of the Museum, the first of its kind, established in 1869 by Paolo Mantegazza. Its setting, which has remained almost unchanged since the second half of the 19th-century, stimulated a series of reflections in the artist, which characterize contemporary culture: the interdisciplinary relationships between art and anthropology, the colonial history, the ethnocentric look, the 19th-century taxonomic categories, modernity and its crisis, the need for rewriting, the processes of hybridization and de-colonialism.
For Third Space, the artist has created twenty collection-specific paintings, promoting heterotopies, contact zones and fluid identities. The exhibition’s title is inspired by the theory of anthropologist Homi K. Bhabha who, in his famous work The Location of Culture, proposes the progressive establishment of “third spaces”, or hybrid places between cultures that Aryan Ozmaei proposes in her pictorial collages: fragmented or decontextualized statues and sculptures are reconstructed by the artist, also symbolically, overcoming the rigid and traditional ethnographic classifications.