Self-seas: Portraits of the Sea
Gian Maria Annovi + Ginexín

A project by the Italian poet and essayist Gian Maria Annovi and the Spanish artist Ginexín where they will create a series of poetic portraits of the sea, transforming the rooftop house of Naves Matadero into an imaginary ship, an immersive poetic space.


Gian Maria Annovi Annovi is currently associate professor of Italian Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles). He made his début as a poet when he was twenty, with his book of poems entitled Denkmal (1998). His second work Terza persona cortese (2007) won the Mazzacurati-Russo Award. He won the Marazza Prize for young poetry thanks to his book of poems La Scolta (2013) about a caregiver from eastern Europe who looks after an elderly woman without mobility and unable to speak. His works have also served as inspiration for other artists: Elena Baucke made a short film based on Kamikaze (2007), and the New York composer Roberto Scarcella Perino created a madrigal for a choir of women and mezzo soprano, based on La Scolta. Since then, the work of Gian Maria Annovi has been included in several anthologies and translated into English, French, and Spanish.

Ginexín is a communicator and artist who finds in collage a universe with which to tell life stories by means of forgotten fragments and testimonies that are stored in hidden drawers. His work constitutes a collection of burning statements that transport us to a landscape of forgotten places and feelings. For the artist, the therapeutic capacity of artistic expression through collage for people who have never before worked with the technique is a growing area of interest. In 2018 he launched the project Woman, Neighbourhood and Memory in collaboration with Madrid City Council, giving a voice to and revisiting the subjective and emotional history of Madrid's women, as told by the women themselves. Live collage, and its dimension as installation art, allows him to connect with groups and individuals with an interest in his creative language, in addition to enabling – at times – co-creation through spontaneous processes. It’s a multidisciplinary collaboration encompassing a variety of techniques that aims to produce synergistic works, constructed or reconstructed with several hands and a range of voices. Ginexín is a member of the Madrid Collage Society and the artistic collective La Recortada. In 2013 he won the 1st Fast Collage World Championship.

On this occasion, Gian Maria Annovi and Ginexín delve into the universe of installations with the proposal Self-seas: Portraits of the Sea. After having spoken previously with young migrants in Madrid and, through their own voices, they create a series of poetic portraits of the sea, transforming the rooftop house of Naves Matadero into an imaginary ship, an immersive poetic space and, at the same time, a sonorous space of emotional encounter, created from the memories and sensations of these people.

Roland Barthes wrote that the Mediterranean "is an enormous complex of memories and sensations [...] a mythological, historical, poetic culture, an entire life of shapes, colours and light found on the border between land and sea." Which leads Gian María to reflect: “What are the memories and sensations of the thousands of people who cross the Mediterranean every month to escape from despair and violence? And how can a space that exposes them to death, displacement and fear be poetic? What are the shapes of a space of numbers, statistics, political opportunism and nameless people?

The Self-seas: Portraits of the Sea project attempts to answer these questions through a poetic practice based on the individual experiences of migrants, the intention being to reimagine and redefine the Mediterranean as a transnational, mestizo, multi-denominational, and multicultural space, an alternative to the opposing and divisive model represented by national, ethnic, religious, or linguistic affiliations”.


With the support of: Istituto Italiano di Cultura de Madrid


31 May - 16 June

Friday 5 to 8pm

Saturday, Sunday and holiday 12am a 8pm


Free entrance