From the Greek - ατοπία, atopía - placelessness, unclassifiable, of high originality.
It describes the ineffability of things or emotions that are seldom experienced, that are outstanding and original in the strict sense.
a.topos is an international curatorial collective born in Venice in 2018 to provide the city with a space to exhibit art, promote reflection, create dialogue and share experiences within the contemporary art scene.
Living in Venice can be considered nothing less than a blessing. A city that breathes art and architecture from the different narrow streets that compose this fantastic maze. An open-air museum, some would say. Exactly for being among the fortunate ones, we can also recognize what the Laguna lacked.
Just like its four co-founders - Fernanda Andrade (Brazil), Yasmine Helou (Italy-Lebanon), Hesperia Illiadou-Suppiej (Cyprus) and Lucia Trevisan (Italy) - this venture seeks to give visibility to emerging artists and to enhance the notoriety of those not yet sufficiently exhibited. In addition to being an exhibition space, this enterprise works as an “open lab” for educational activities such as talks and debates. By gathering professionals from different backgrounds in a fertile exchange, a.topos contributes to construct new interpretations concerning Arts and, therefore, to keep its organicity and vivacity.
Fernanda Andrade – co-founder
Fernanda Andrade is a Brazilian art curator, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1981 and currently based in Venice. During her university years, she double majored in History and Journalism. The BA degrees were followed by a Master’s in Social and Cultural History at PUC-RJ. After that, she thought for more than a decade both Art History and History at Colégio Santo Agostinho, one of the most prestigious school in Rio. Highly interested in Modern and Contemporary Art, in order to further develop her skills as an art curator, Fernanda attended a course at Sotheby’s Institute on Introduction to curating as well as an other one on Curating and writing art criticism, at the French-Brazilian Institute. In 2018, she moved to Italy in order to engaged in a second MA in Curatorial Practice at IED Venice, acting as co-curator and project manager in the international collective show On Walking Away. In the same year, she became assistant curator and local coordinator for the Malta Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 2019.
Yasmine Helou – co-founder
Yasmine Helou is an Italian Lebanese curator currently based in Venice. Formerly living between Beirut, Rome and Paris has allowed her to use her multicultural and multilingual background to grasp the underlying meanings of the diverse situations and readings she has been confronted with. And, it is with a view to completing this journey, she decided to study in Paris, which is only a train ride away from an entire world of creation, art and imagination, where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Art Market and Cultural Mediation at ICART Paris. Through her studies, she had the opportunity to work in several entities of the Art world such as art galleries, in the role of assistant, like at the Galerie Mark Hachem in Paris or the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London, and Museums, as part of the curating team and the cultural mediation department, like The Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris and the National Museum of Beirut. After pursuing a master’s in Curatorial Studies at IED Venice, Italy, she has been involved in multiples projects in the city following her motivation to deepen her understanding of the contemporary art field and to work for its promotion. In that sense, she presents herself as a polyglot and intercultural curator led by a distinctive train of thought, trying to highlight the artworks in harmony with the guideline designed with the artist.
Hesperia Iliadou de Subplajo-Suppiej – co-founder
Dr Hesperia Iliadou de Subplajo-Suppiej (born 1976, Cyprus) is an elected professor in History of Art & Architecture and a Museum Studies specialist, member of ICOM-Italia, the International Council of Museums. She is the curator of the National Pavilion of Malta at the Biennale di Venezia 2019. Educated at the NTU Athens, the University of London (Bartlett) and the University of Leicester, Research Centre of Museum & Galleries, she is currently researching socially engaged strategies in curating as well as the creation of a new museum in Venice dedicated to artisan practices and the Arts. Since 2014 she has been acting as commissioner for La Biennale di Venezia and has been involved in different aspects of the research and organizational process of exhibiting in Venice. She has curated different exhibitions of both contemporary art and historical themed museum exhibitions, focusing on the design aspects of engaging experiences within the exhibition space. She was curator of the inaugural exhibition of the European Capital of Culture 2017 and an educational programme consultant for different museums and galleries. She lives in Venice, where she currently teaches Museology, Exhibition Techniques and Socially Engaged Art at the MA in Curatorial Practice at the European Institute of Design. Her academic publications and research focus on contemporary practices in representing and exhibiting the cultural history and arts of the Mediterranean Sea.
Lucia Trevisan – co-founder
Lucia Trevisan is an Italian curator based in Venice. Her curiosity about art comes from her roots, Italy being a global rewatch cradle of Culture and Art. After her studies in Economics and Management of Art and Cultural Activities at Ca’ Foscari in Venice, she had a professional experience at Galleria Michela Rizzo where she worked closely with artists as well as took part in all the required steps to organise an exhibition. After this work experience, she decided to continue her studies in a Master’s in Curatorial Practice at IED Venice, having the opportunity to work as a registrar and head of set up and dismantling phases of different exhibitions. She also assisted in the management of press and digital communication for the promotion of several cultural events around Italy. Since the beginning of 2019 she has been engaged with the local coordination of the Malta Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 2019.