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NAM – Not a Museum presents SUPERBLAST, a call to the arts for creative and experimental artistic production with an interdisciplinary approach that will be held at Manifattura Tabacchi. What does it mean to create art today? How can we rebuild a balance between humanity, urban centres and the natural world? Is a new ecological vision feasible? As we witness a critical turning point in our planet’s history, we choose to address this crisis first by posing questions, not by providing immediate solutions. This is a call to anyone who does not yet have preordained answers, anyone who wishes to contribute to change and is in search of a space in which to do so.

SUPERBLAST, from sùper, from Latin super-, «above», and from -blasto, from Greek βλαστός «seed», something large, which has yet to be born.

SUPERBLAST will dedicate Manifattura Tabacchi’s spaces to artistic experimentation and to addressing urgent issues such as: the relationship between nature and culture, humans and other species, the individual and the community; 

SUPERBLAST seeks artists who want to freely develop their research to create site-specific works, while conducting an interdisciplinary and educational dialogue with critics, curators, and scientists; 

We are looking for artists who will place Florence at the centre of a new environmental and cultural form of activism, promoting interaction between public spaces, both contemporary and historical, and the establishment of a collective memory; 

September, the month dedicated to eco sustainability, is our deadline: SUPERBLAST’s final exhibition and a rich programme of activities in collaboration with local businesses active in contemporary art and culture will coincide in September 2021. 

SUPERBLAST is open to all individual artists and artist collectives under 40 years of age.
We offer a platform for action and expression, production support, and a network which promotes artistic practice as one of its core values.

SUPERBLAST is a competition for multidisciplinary artists: 6 winners will become residents and will freely develop projects that interact with Manifattura Tabacchi’s spaces.

Each selected artist will be offered:

  • a workshop in Manifattura Tabacchi dedicated to the exploration of the space and its surroundings, the choice of the spaces, and the scheduling of the residencies;
  • € 5.000 towards production costs, and a studio in which to work;
  • € 500 to cover travel and living expenses;
  • a personal curator, chosen by the winner, who will accompany the artist during the residency to aide them in the writing of a critical text to develop a publication on their project;
  • the exhibition of the artist’s work as part of the final exhibition and a publication at the conclusion of the residency.

The residency duration is flexible: between 5 May and 5 August 2021, each artist will choose the exact length of their stay based on the project they intend to develop. The six winners will be announced on 21 April.

Winners will be selected by an international scientific committee composed of notable professionals in the fields of the arts and sciences. 



Mario Cristiani was born in Calitri (Avellino, Campania) in 1964. He studied Sociology of Work at the University of Florence’s school of Political Sciences. In 1990, Cristiani founded Galleria Continua and the Continua Art Association with his friends Maurizio Rigillo and Lorenzo Fiaschi. Galleria Continua is located in a 1950s movie theatre, a deliberately unusual place for a contemporary art gallery. It is far from any large cities and modern urban sites, nestled in the small Tuscan town of San Gimignano, which boasts a rich, timeless history. In 2005, Galleria Continua inaugurated a new exhibition space in Beijing, China. Two years later, the gallery opened a singular site for contemporary creation in the Parisian countryside, at Boissy-le-Châtel (Seine-et-Marne). In 2015, Galleria Continua founded Arte CONTINUA Habana in Aguila de Oro, a 1950s movie theatre in the heart of Havana’s Chinatown. In 2020, on the occasion of the foundation’s 30th anniversary, the three business associates opened Continua’s fifth space in Rome inside the Hotel St. Regis. This year (2021), Galleria Continua Paris  will be opened in the centre of the city, just a few steps away from the Centre Pompidou in Marais. Cristiani is also President of the Continua Art Association, the non-profit organisation behind the Arte all’Arte project which has promoted Art, Architecture, and Landscape design for over ten years. Arte all’Arte is a global project whose aim is to establish a new relationship between the city and the countryside by forging new connections between Art, Architecture, and their natural surroundings, restoring art’s central role in the aesthetic design of cities and landscapes. The project has also promoted the charity campaign ArtexVino=Acqua and has organised various events whose funds were used to bring water to those areas of the world which suffer from severe droughts. 

Among the most recent events held by the Continua Association was the temporary installation SHY by Antony Gormley, held in Piazza Duomo in Prato (19 December 2020). The Association has also organised multiple educational Webinars featuring internationally renown hosts from the art world and beyond. 

In 2009, Mario Cristiani become President of the Scientific Committee of Arte Pollino ‘un altro sud’, a local development initiative that is part of the Sensi Contemporanei programme promoted by the Basilicata Region, the Minister of Economic Development and the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities. Its objective is to promote and recognise the importance of one of Europe’s most beautiful nature reserves — the Pollino National Park — through contemporary art.


Erica Petrillo is a writer and curator based in Milan, where she currently works for the interdisciplinary agency 2050+.

Her main interest is to create, with others, temporary zones for reflection, exploration, and exchange. In previous years this urge manifested in public programs, which she curated for institutions as diverse as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she co-curated the R&D Salon program (2017-18); the XXII Triennale di Milano – Broken Nature, where she was responsible for the cycle of symposia accompanying the exhibition (2018-2019); the post-academic institute van Eyck Academie of Maastricht, where for her final project she opened a bar as a testing ground for exploring the social function and political potential of electronic music; and, currently, the Russian Pavilion of the forthcoming Venice Architecture Biennale, an adventure she has embarked on together with the team from 2050+.

Erica holds a Bachelor in Politics, Sociology and Psychology from the University of Cambridge (UK), a Bachelor in Political Sciences and International Relations from Università degli Studi di Milano, and a Master in Arts, Politics and Society from Maastricht University.


Stefano Mancuso is a Professor of Arboriculture and Plant Physiology at the University of Florence, and an academic at the Accademia dei Georgofili. He is the founder and director of the International Laboratory for Plant Neurobiology (LINV), which has sites in Florence and Kitakyushu, he is also a founding member of the International Society for Plant Signalling & Behaviour, and is widely held as a pioneer in the field of plant neurobiology.

In 2002 he was honoured with the European Award for Innovation and Research. In 2007 he held the role of International Expert on Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development at the UNCCD (the UN Convention to Combat Desertification). In 2010 he became the first Italian scientist to be a speaker at TED Global in Oxford, and in 2011 Stefano Mancuso and his research was selected for the United Nations’ ‘Bright Green Book’. In 2013 he was named as a ‘world changer’ by the New Yorker. 

The research of Stefano Mancuso has been published over 300 times in international scientific journals. He is the author of prize-winning books on plants, including the best-seller ‘Brilliant Green’, and his latest, ‘The Nation of Plants’. He is a regular contributor to the newspapers ‘La Repubblica’ and ‘Corriere della Sera’, and has collaborated with the national public broadcasting company RAI for the programmes ‘Geo & Geo’ and ‘Kilimanjaro’. He created the theatrical and musical show ‘Botanica’ with the group The Deproducers. Together with Carsten Höller, in 2018 he curated and created the exhibition ‘The Florence Experiment’ at Palazzo Strozzi. His exhibition ‘The Nation of Plants’ was one of the most visited at the XXII Triennale di Milano. In 2019, together with Thijs Bierkstar, he created the ‘Symbiosia’ artwork for the ‘Nous les arbres’ exhibition at the Cartier Foundation in Paris. 


Lucia Pietroiusti works at the intersection of art, ecology and systems, usually outside of the gallery format. She is the curator of Sun & Sea (Marina) – the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019 (and its 2020-2022 international tour) as well as Curator of General Ecology at Serpentine Galleries. Pietroiusti is a co-founder, and occasional co-presenter, of the Serpentine Podcast. Together with writer Filipa Ramos, she initiated and currently curates The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish, a festival series, research and publication project on more-than-human consciousness. Pietroiusti is the co-editor (with Andrés Jaque and Marina Otero Verzier) of the publication, More-than-Human (2020). Forthcoming projects include Shanghai Biennale 2021 (co-curator) and POWER NIGHT, E-Werk Luckenwalde (curator), both in Spring 2021. 

Caterina Taurelli Salimbeni

Caterina Taurelli Salimbeni is a curator and journalist currently based in Florence, where she coordinates the contemporary art projects at Manifattura Tabacchi. She has worked in several art galleries in Cape Town, Rome and Venice. Caterina collaborates with Inside Art’s editorial staff and has co-curated the exhibitions of the tenth and eleventh edition of the Talent Prize. She holds a Bachelor in Cultural Heritage Management from the Bocconi university in Milan and a master’s degree in contemporary art and media from the HEC university in Paris.

SUPERBLAST is an initiative by NAM – Not A Museum, Manifattura Tabacchi’s contemporary art programme that is based on an interdisciplinary outlook towards the arts, community involvement, and researching the relationship between art, science, and nature.  

These areas of interest might help candidates better understand the context in which the SUPERBLAST project will take place and the artistic and cultural research that is currently underway at Manifattura Tabacchi.

KINS by Radio Papesse is a series podcasts in four episodes, to re-listen to voices, sounds, connections and unexpected affinities from NAM – Not A Museum’s first winter. NAM is Manifattura Tabacchi’s contemporary art platform.


The podcast of Many Possible Cities 2020, the third edition of Manifattura Tabacchi’s festival dedicated to urban renewal. Meetings, interviews, and detailed content respond to some of the most important questions that arise in the minds of those undertaking the endeavor of urban renewal and those who seek a balance between independence and sustainability in cultural production.


A video documentary which collects interventions by SUPERCATASTROFE protagonists, the third edition of God is Green. God is Green is Manifattura Tabacchi’s festival dedicated to sustainability and our future and is produced by NAM – Not A Museum, curated by NERO, with Medusa, Not, Parasite 2.0, Threes, Andreco, Clara Ciccioni, Federica Timeto and Miriam Tola.


Interviews by NAM – Not A Museum’s partners. NAM is an ecosystem of public art, performance, video, cinema, art publications, radio and distribution, wherein the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary art mediums in which categories dissolve in favor of freedom of form moves parallel to the decentralisation of activities in the public and diffused sphere, physical and digital.

Visiting artist interviews from the Artist Residency programme (2018-2020) at Manifattura Tabacchi

La cura (2018-2019)
La meraviglia (2019-2020)
L'armonia (2020-2021)

8 February-21 March


The open call for the SUPERBLAST residency is free of charge and open to participants from all over the globe who are under 40 years of age. Participants may be individuals or groups with varying artistic practices: sculpture, painting, sound and new media art, performance, choreography and relational practice, workshop-based projects and projects that question the relationship between human beings and the environment. The selection will be matched with newly conceived projects. 


Each candidate will be evaluated according to a proposal of the project they intend to develop over the course of the SUPERBLAST residency at Manifattura Tabacchi, their portfolio, and curriculum vitae. 

Manifattura's spaces

Each participant is requested to submit, by and no later than 21 March, to the following material in PDF format to the address

  1. Project proposal containing content description and means of realisation;
  2. Curriculum Vitae;
  3. Updated portfolio to 2021. 
  4. The following documents, signed: LINK

Download the Competition Rules