April 2017


Finissage - Cinque Mostre 2017 - The Sicilian Vespers and the Tunisian Matins

  • Tuesday, 4 April 2017 - 7:00pm
AAR Gallery and Lecture Room

As part of the Cinque Mostre finissage, at 7pm in the lecture room there will be a multi-disciplinary performance of The Sicilian Vespers and the Tunisian Matins, a project by Academy community members and Fellows Lisa Baker, Jonathan Berger, Caroline Cheung, Kyle deCamp Leon Grek, Hussein Fancy, Ryan Matos, and Enrico Riley. The performance will feature puppeteers from the Accettella Teatro – Mongiovino, and oboist Flavio Troiani. The project is made possible by the Fellows’ Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.

The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to a rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter, 1282, against the Angevins – Frenchmen who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, three thousand French men and women were killed, and the occupiers had been expelled from the island. The rebellion ended with the arrival of ships from the Crown of Aragon at the port of Messina.

The Sicilian Vespers and the Tunisian Matins is a collaborative project. Animated by a scholarly attempt to rewrite the famous episode of the Sicilian Vespers from the perspective of North Africa, all the characters of the play are pulled from historical sources. They all once lived but have since become wooden. In order to bring them to life again, the project draws upon poetic and literary sources familiar and less so: Virgil, Boccaccio, Ariosto, and Shakespeare, Ibn Tufayl and Ibn Hamdis, miraj and maqama. National myths compete with connected histories. Epic vied with Romance. In the end, the play speaks to the familiar and, perhaps, fundamental tension between history and literature.

On Tuesday 4 April the exhibition Cinque Mostre 2017. Vision(s) : will be open from 6pm to 8:30pm. The exhibition is made possible by the Adele Chatfield-Taylor and John Guare Fund for the Arts.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.