Events

Calendar

October 2017

SHOPTALKS

Peter Benson Miller - Painting in the Contact Zone: American Artists in Postwar Rome

  • Monday, 2 October 2017 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Philip Guston, The Tormentors, 1947-48, oil on canvas. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (c) Estate of Philip Guston.

In the decades following the Second World War, Rome was a productive workplace for American artists and intellectuals. According to the internationally-minded Italian artist Piero Dorazio, one of the founders of the group Forma 1, “Rome was like Paris, it had become the navel of art in Europe. Americans were no longer going to Paris—that had been in the twenties and thirties. In the fifties, Rome was full of artists.” The image of Rome as a “second Paris” was also broadcast in 1952 by an article in Life entitled “Americans in Italy,” which declared that “at the end of World War II artists from all over the U.S. began to head for Italy where, for the past six years, they have swarmed the hillsides and made Rome the rival of Paris as art headquarters.” Awed by historical grandeur and artistic forebears in Italy, American artists also encountered a complex contemporary art world of entangled Cold War cultural politics, ideological struggles, and aesthetic debates. This talk will reconsider several American artists in Rome in this period—focusing in particular on Philip Guston—traditionally viewed in biographical isolation, foregrounding instead the politicized artistic community and the challenges of painting in what cultural historian Mary Louise Pratt has termed a “contact zone.” 

Peter Benson Miller is the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome. He curated Philip Guston, Roma, which was held at the Museo Carlo Bilotti- Aranciera di Villa Borghese, Rome, and traveled to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. At the Academy, his exhibitions include: Cy Twombly, Photographer (2015); Studio Systems (2016); and Charles Ray, Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog (2017). He is the editor of Go Figure! New Perspectives on Guston, published in 2015 by New York Review Books and the American Academy in Rome.

The shoptalk will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome

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.

Lecture

William Jordan – King Louis IX’s Other Converts

  • Tuesday, 3 October 2017 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Felix Bonfils, Old Walls of Acre, 1878. NYPL Digital Collections.

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Modern biographies of Louis IX discuss at considerable length his efforts to convert the Jews to Christianity.  Perhaps because he was a crusader king, however, scholars have paid little attention to any aspects of his relations with Muslims except those pertaining to war and diplomacy. Yet, as William Jordan will make plain in this lecture, the king's interest and actions in promoting conversions of Muslims to the Catholic faith turn out to be well worth exploring.

William Jordan is Dayton-Stockton Professor of History and Chairman of the History Department at Princeton University. He is the Lester K. Little Scholar of Medieval Studies at the American Academy in Rome in the fall of 2017.

The event will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome

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.

Exhibition Opening

Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town

  • Thursday, 12 October 2017 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
AAR Gallery
Rome

Organized by the American Academy in Rome, this exhibition highlights how photography has framed modern perceptions of Matera, a southern Italian town noted for its millennia-old cave dwellings. A palimpsest of history and traditions characteristic of Mediterranean culture, Matera in the twentieth century was transformed in the collective imagination from an ancient backwater at the edge of civilization to a cultural bellwether for the future of Europe. In the 1940s, following the publication of Italian author Carlo Levi’s best-selling memoir, Christ Stopped at Eboli, Matera became a symbol of southern Italian backwardness. Today, just over a generation later, Matera has emerged as a model of authenticity that will represent Europe as Capital of Culture in 2019.    

The exhibition charts Matera’s recent evolution through photography. It highlights for the first time the town's constant allure for photographers around the globe, as well as their pivotal role in transforming what Levi termed Matera’s “tragic beauty” into a symbol of ageless, Mediterranean place. Like filmmakers Pierpaolo Pasolini or Mel Gibson, who used Matera as a surrogate for Jerusalem, the photographers who ventured to Matera observed in its cave dwellings signs of the origins of civilization. At the same time, as was true of New Deal era photography in the United States, photography in Matera in the postwar years played a decisive role in shaping public policy, land reform, and social change. More recently, Matera has inspired artists to explore through photography concepts ranging from memory and perception, to identity and cultural patrimony. Featuring works by some of the most celebrated photographers of their time, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Esther Bubley, Luigi Ghirri, Emmet Gowin, David Seymour, and Carrie Mae Weems, the exhibition presents a new narrative about Matera’s ancient heritage.

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

L’evento è parte della serie Nuove ricerche sulle arti e sulle discipline umanistiche: oriente e occidente.

The exhibition is made possible in part by Richard Baron and Adi Shamir Baron.

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.

Conference

The Political Power of Sacred Texts: Between Fundamentalism and Philosophy

  • Wednesday, 18 October 2017 - 6:00pm
  • Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome

Sacred texts, catalyzed through extremely different hermeneutical approaches, have had great political influence in both Eastern and Western cultures.  This conference explores the interaction between canonical texts and the array of hermeneutical modes – from fundamentalism to contemporary philosophy – through which they are culturally activated.  Do sacred texts and their specific normative content actually have political influence? Or are they just objects of use or abuse by players whose ideologies are informed by motivations independent of the sacred texts they advocate? What cultural contexts favor fundamentalist approaches, and where do open-perspective philosophical attitudes towards sacred texts develop?  Is there any possibility for mutual illumination among advocates of these seemingly incommensurate positions? These issues will be discussed in a keynote address followed by a one-day conference. Scholars from different religious backgrounds will analyze test cases, showing how specific sacred texts have been used in diverse historical and cultural contexts as well as their contemporary political relevance. Scholars from philosophy and cultural studies will explore, from their perspectives, how these issues can be approached.

Papers will include:

Katell Berthelot (French National Center for Scientific Research, Aix en Provence)
The Political Power of the Biblical Texts pertaining to the Conquest of the Promised Land, from the Hasmonean Period to the Present

Harold Attridge (Yale Divinity School)
What are the Political Implications of a Kingdom “not of this world”?

Angelika Neuwirth (Freie University, Berlin)
The Jerusalem Temple Disputed?  A Momentous Qur'anic Verse, Q 17:1, and its Explosive Potential

Ron Hendel (Center for Jewish Studies, University of California, Berkeley)
The Bible in the Modern Political Imagination: Dialectics of Legitimacy

Eckart Otto (Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich)
The Political Influence of the Bible in Max Weber, Hermann Cohen, and Ernst Troeltsch during World War I – the Urkatastrophe of the Twentieth Century

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

L’evento è parte della serie Nuove ricerche sulle arti e sulle discipline umanistiche: oriente e occidente.

The event will be held in English.

L’evento si terrà in lingua inglese.

You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome

Sarà possibile seguirlo in diretta streaming https://livestream.com/aarome

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.

I visitatori dell'American Academy in Rome sono pregati di mostrare un documento d'identità all'ingresso.  Non è possibile accedere con bagagli o zaini di dimensioni superiori a cm 40 x 35 x 15. Non sono disponibili armadietti né guardaroba.

Lecture

Jeanne Gang - Materials that Connect

  • Tuesday, 24 October 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
MAXXI - Via Guido Reni 4A

Celebrated American architect Jeanne Gang is the founding principal of Studio Gang, an architecture and urban design practice in Chicago and New York. In this talk organized in collaboration with MAXXI, Jeanne will discuss the design process for recent and upcoming projects of various types and scales that use materiality to forge connections between cities, people, and the environment. These projects include the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, which was built using a vernacular method that embodies the participatory ideals of the center; an expansion of New York’s American Museum of Natural History that uses the liquid qualities of concrete to echo geological processes, resulting in a flowing central space for exhibition, education, and exploration; the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, a restored urban habitat and landmark pavilion in Chicago; and Writers Theatre, which uses wood in tension to create a transparent performance and gathering space that embraces its community.

This event, a collaboration with MAXXI Architettura, is part of the Light On series curated by Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator of Architecture at MAXXI.