Maria Crispal

(Maria Cristina Palombieri aka Maria Crispal).

Lives and works in Rome. She worked in Brussels and in New York at “The Invisible Dog”, experimental art centre, during its early stages in 2009-10.

Visual artist and performer. Designer, producer and artistic director. Also an activist.

Her work includes performance, video, poetry, drawing, painting, sculpture, design, music, photography and new technologies. Her subject matter is the archetypes of contemporary society, explored through global ancestral theories and expressed primarily in ritual performances with audience participation, in which the artist is placed at the centre as a “connective icon”, restoring woman’s sovereign role as cognitive mediator.

Following a Master’s Degree in Literature (University of L’Aquila) and a Master’s in European Planning for Cultural and Environmental Heritage (La Sapienza University, Rome), she worked with private and public bodies to conceive and manage projects in which current issues such as the environment, social conflict, sustainable economics and concern for water resources are addressed in conjunction with local areas through education in new mediums, thanks to the inclusion of various types of artistic expression, often geared to the creation of centres in developing countries.

To this end she has established networks, particularly in collaboration with the artist Giuseppe Stampone; these have attracted a number of professionals, such as Derrick de Kerckhove, an expert in international mass media and head of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology in Toronto.

Partly through these networks, Crispal has been involved in interventions co-funded by the European Union (“non-state actors and local bodies in development”) related to the UN Millennium Goals for the integration and support of countries in the southern hemisphere, including “Art&Earth” (Vicenza – Italy, Czestokowa – Poland, Osjek – Croatia, Burkina Faso) and “We are the Planet” (Teramo – Italy, Avila – Spain, Nova Gorica – Slovenia, Strovolos – Cyprus, Benin).

These projects involved schools at every level in various areas of the world, thanks to their interaction with public and private institutions, universities, museums, associations, foundations, NGOs and non-profit organisations. The structure is similar to that of social networks, which circulate different ways of observing and analysing the surrounding reality; the sites are innovative interdisciplinary learning centres which enable project experiences to be collected and facilitate the construction of a platform linking educational centres, institutions and citizenship. The venues are also places where all involved parties can come together and exchange methods in order to give visibility to activities combined with art.

These ideas are supplemented with art actions by Maria Crispal alone or in collaboration with a number of institutions, including: Santo Spirito in Saxia in Rome, the Salerno Museum of Architecture, MAXXI Museum in Rome, Platform Theatre – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, the Liverpool Biennial 2010, No Longer Empty in New York, the American Academy in Rome, Triennial Bovisa in Milan, Museum L’ARCA in Teramo, Civic Museum in Teramo, MAAM Museum in Rome, MACAO – Centre ofin  art and culture in Milan, Valle Theatre in Rome, MACRO Museum in Rome, MUSE Museum, Civic Museums in Trento, Centrale Fies for performing art, Villa Romana in Florence, Rome Europa Film Festival, Seoul Biennial of  architecture 2017, Venice Biennial of architecture 2020, MAMBO Museum in Bogotá, and The Invisible Dog Art Center, New York.

Talks, presentations and workshops in museums, universities and schools, including: La Sapienza University of Rome, Federico II University of Naples, IULM University of Milan, Sorbonne University of Paris, Temple University of Rome, Nice University, University of Barcelona, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Academy of Fine Arts in L’Aquila, Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino, GAMEC Museum in Bergamo, MAXXI B.A.S.E. in Rome, MADRE Museum in Naples, Cinema Home in Rome.

In 2013 Maria Crispal was involved in a residential research programme at Artakt, Central Saint Martins College in London, with an exhibition at the Platform Theatre; she has also completed internships with international figures including the artist, playwright and stage director Jan Fabre.

Her artistic activity is disseminated via a platform which includes a range of projects, such as “Corpus Domina” (2012), which explores the complex female world of art, anthropology and society through publications, conferences and exhibitions.

Her art workshops, such as “Ecoslogong”, are recognised as educational by the European Community and distributed in several parts of the world; to manage these, spaces called “neo-dimensional” have been established, currently based in international research centres.

In 2012 Maria Crispal was given an experimental space at the University of Teramo, the city of her birth, in collaboration with Alberto Abruzzese from the IULM of Milan, and the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology of Toronto, through Derrick de Kerckhove.

Staying in academia, with her second book she established a dialogue with Michel Maffesoli, one of the greatest contemporary sociologists, emeritus professor at the Académie Française and lecturer at the Sorbonne, whose thinking she confronted with her own research into new lines and development opportunities for new forms of post-modern social relations.

In 2013 she supported Gianmaria Tosatti’s project “Cosmologia”, in collaboration with Giuseppe Stampone.

She attended a performance with Sofia Loren to mark the latter’s 80th birthday, designed by the artist Giuseppe Stampone for the 75th edition of Miss Italy, and commissioned by the patron Patrizia Mirigliani.

In 2012 the MMMAC Museum of Salerno published her first monograph “Connective Icon”, edited by Antonello Tolve with scientific committee: Paolo Balmas, Renato Barilli, Alberto Boatto, Maurizio Calvesi, Luciano Caramel, Enrico Crispolti, Gillo Dorfles, Demetrio Paparoni, Tommaso Trini, Lea Vergine, and in 2016 Manfredi Edition published her book “Corpus Domina”, edited by Laura Cherubini, with text by Laura Cherubini, Eugenio Viola, Alessandro Cocchieri, Alia Swastika, and special contribution by Michel Maffesoli.

2014 saw the worsening of a psychological condition which prevented Maria Crispal from going out, and therefore partially interrupted her work; she began to recover in 2019, only to undergo all the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic.