Beyond Connections and Endemism


Donatella Bernardi

In September 2020, I began to work on a series of portraits, a feuilleton of illustrated essays published in the revue La Couleur des jours, dedicated to people connected to New Caledonia, in the South Pacific. One of my entry points to this land has been a fascination for its endemic vegetation, another the societal organization of the Kanak. Beyond Connections and Endemism uses the friendship and affinity linking Swiss and Neo-Caledonian people to “reach out and invite voices that would otherwise remain inaudible to us.” Are such voices those of reparation or conciliation, made after the brutality of colonialism? Or, maybe, more humbly, those connected to biographies concerned with and inhabited by love, curiosity and capacity, to share over distance, difference and time? 


Dr. Donatella Bernardi is a multidisciplinary artist, academic and manager in the field of art education. Her artistic practice is complemented by her scholarly research and teaching, spanning installations, publications, films, essays and curated exhibitions. From 2017 to 2020, Bernardi has been the Head of the Masters programme in Fine Arts at Zurich University of the Arts. In 2021, she was appointed as director of Maison Rousseau et Littérature in Geneva. Prior to this, she taught for seven years as a professor at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Art (KKH) in Stockholm (2010–16). Her scholarly research in art began as a fellow of the Istituto Svizzero di Roma (2006–08) and continued at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (2008–09).