Marzia Migliora. The Spectre of Malthus
IMAGE: Marzia Migliora, The Spectre of Malthus, 2020, Frame Video in Virtual Reality, ASMR sound, colour, animation, 4’30’’, Courtesy of the artist and MA*GA Art Museum.

Marzia Migliora. The Spectre of Malthus

Matteo Lucchetti


The Spectre of Malthus, curated by Matteo Lucchetti, is the conclusion to a research project that Marzia Migliora has dedicated to the analysis of the relationship between the capitalist system’s production of food, commodities and surplus-value and the exploitation of human, animal, and mining resources. These are subjects evoked in the title of the project itself, in which the artist calls into question the British economist and demographer Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), who as early as the late 18th century theorised the problem of unsustainability between demographic growth and food production and pointed to global famine and pandemics as possible consequences of monocultures and factory farming.


The English edition of this art book is published as an exclusive preview on Van Abbemuseum website, while the physical exhibition of Marzia Migliora is on show at the MA*GA Art Museum in Gallarate in Italy. The Van Abbemuseum is delighted to be able to make available this publication surrounding Marzia Migliora’s wonderful VR work. The original intention was to show the work in a physical format in the museum but due to the pandemic, we have decided to present it in this way for our online visitors. We hope you enjoy it and that we might have the chance in the future to host the work physically in Eindhoven.




The project has been realised under the patronage of the Italian Council (6th Edition 2019), a programme promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT) for the promotion of contemporary art in the world. It is a MA*GA Art Museum project in partnership with Serlachius Museums in Mänttä, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Italian Institute of Culture in Warsaw. Cultural partners: the National Gallery of San Marino And the City of Gallarate National Award for the Visual Arts.