Events

Calendar

March 2019

Exhibition

Special Opening - Cinque Mostre 2019 - Δx Displacement

  • Thursday, 7 March 2019 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm
McKim, Mead & White Building
Rome

Special opening of Cinque Mostre 2019: Δx Displacement
Screening of films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine
Workshop with Erin Besler and Ian Besler

On this occasion, Homo Urbanus, a series of 7 films created by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine will be projected. The films take the spectator though the cities of Seoul, Bogotà, Naples, Saint-Petersburg, Rabat, Tokyo and Kyoto, contructing a the human landscape along the way.

Erin Besler and Ian Besler will conduct a workshop entitled Some Assembly Required. This project explores the distinction between “work” and “activity” in the context of the Cinque Mostre exhibition by creating a set of interactive fold-and-construct model kits of architectural details in Rome, removed from their context and reconstructed as simple model kits. Visitors are encouraged to contribute to the project and help themselves to their own kit – accessible, printed, sheets of paper stock – which anyone from adults to small children, experts to amateurs, can fold and assemble. This project aspires to implicate the processes of construction and assembly, typically kept at a distance or rendered invisible in the context of the gallery, as a central and inextricable component of the installation, while at the same time producing and engaging new audiences in architectural design and production.

Other projects in the exhibition: Carola Bonfili, Joannie Bottkol + Allison Emmerson + Zaneta Hong + Karyn Olivier, Michael Ray Charles, Invernomuto, Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong + Judy Chung*, Renato Leotta, Michelle Lou + Marcel Sanchez Prieto + Adriana Cuéllar, Jessie Marino + Michael Leighton Beaman, Helen O’Leary + Joannie Bottkol, Gabriele Silli, Basil Twist + Kirstin Valdez Quade + Kenneth Ard, Francesco Zorzi

Δx Displacement
Composed of collaborative projects, under the collective title Δx Displacement, Cinque Mostre 2019 features work by current Rome Prize Fellows, Italian Fellows, and invited artists installed in various sites throughout the McKim, Mead & White Building at the American Academy in Rome.

Bringing together works by visual artists, architects, designers, writers, archeologists, art historians and conservators, in a range of media and scales that respond to the various meanings of the term displacement, Δx focuses on conditions questioning the poetics of the ordinary, unsettling a sense of belonging, and disrupting conventional relationships.

The title of the exhibition, which sums up themes explored in different ways by all of the participating artists, takes its cue from the project conceived by Fellows Michelle Lou (composer) and Marcel Sanchez Prieto (architect), who ask “how do our spaces/environments reinforce a sense of place in the world, and how does displacement affect our sense of ourselves?”

A reference point is a recognizable element that grounds our sense of place both materially and immaterially. In order to describe any type of motion, we must indicate an initial position, one that is either shared with other individuals. A frame of reference can thus be geographical, architectural, historical, experience-based or even emotional, and a shift from this initial position, whether physically objective or subjective and personal, is defined as displacement not only by political, philosophical and psychological theories, but by mathematics. The equation Δx = xf ​− x0​ (where Δx refers to the displacement, xf​ to the value of the final position, and x0​ to the value of the initial position) is unequivocal: displacement is the difference in the position of two marks and is independent of the path taken when traveling between them. Following this logic, the American Academy in Rome is itself a dislocated space, and the Rome Prize Fellows are part of a displaced community, albeit one integrated into the surrounding city.

Δx broadly investigates the design and representation of stability, reflecting on the states of permanent upheaval whether social, political or emotional. The works in the exhibition, informed by numerous dialogues between overlapping fields of research, offer a dynamic exchange of opinions. Each intends to disrupt conventional images of natural or built environments of recollection, historical narratives, or emotional or physical perceptions, blurring the limits between reality and fiction, between a now and then, between a here and there.

Through the interplay of disparate media, shifting traditional models of image-making and story-telling, Δx mirrors the human relationship to life, history, vision, space, and nature, creating an experience where the impact of each element reverberates throughout the exhibition. Viewed together, the works provoke a lively discussion around ideas of dislocating and decentering, drawing on the audience’s participation to further enhance the reading of the terms, underlining how the act of displacement is, willing or otherwise, constantly affecting all physical, social and spiritual movements surrounding us.

Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to 7pm
On show until 31 March 2019
Free entrance

The exhibition is made possible by the Adele Chatfield-Taylor and John Guare Fund for the Arts. Special thanks to Cernit and ROSCO production sponsors of the project “Macula” by Francesco Zorzi.

* Mary Beard, Carmen Belmonte, Michelle Berenfeld, Liana Brent, Thomas Carpenter, Jim Carter, Lan Samantha Chang, Judy Chung, Alessandra Ciucci, Talia Di Manno, Allison L. C. Emmerson, Louisa Ermelino, Maria Ida Gaeta, Vincent Katz, Karen Kevorkian, Eric J. Kondratieff, Lynne C. Lancaster, Mark Letteney, Anna Majeski, Francesca Marciano, Peter Benson Miller, Victoria Moses, John Ochsendorf, Austin Powell, Kirstin Valdez Quade, John F. Romano, Bennett Sims, Sean Tandy, Virginia Virilli, Lauren K. Watel, William N. West

A 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 (16 x 14 x 6 in.) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Conference

A Difficult Heritage: The Afterlife of Fascist-Era Architecture, Monuments, and Works of Art in Italy

  • Monday, 11 March 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Tuesday, 12 March 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Bibliotheca Hertziana and AAR
Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, Freedom of Movement, 2018

Many urban projects realized during the Ventennio remain part of the Italian landscape and, together with architectural monuments and works of art, create a constellation of surviving images of Fascist visual culture in contemporary Italy. As part of the national cultural heritage these artefacts are protected by preservation laws. However, in the ambiguous process whereby Italy confronts its Fascist and colonial past, they have also become a nexus of critical debate and political struggle.

The conference focuses on the material history of Fascist-era works of art, monuments, and architecture in Italy, and examines their afterlife and reception in the longue durée. In order to frame the contemporary debate, a transdisciplinary approach and a historical perspective will take as its starting point the iconoclasm following the Fall of the Regime (July 25th, 1943). Papers will explore the ambiguous transition from Fascism to the Republic and the dynamics of postwar censorship. Moreover, the critical examination of artistic historiography, together with the main narratives of the history of Italian art, aims to underline elements of continuity throughout the 20th century. It also permits a re-examination of the damnatio memoriae implicating some of the artists close to the Regime and the role played by private collections in the preservation and survival of Fascist-era works of art.

Probing the theoretical concept of 'difficult heritage' in relation to the peculiarities of the Italian case, and in a comparative perspective with other nations, the conference addresses issues of restoration, display, and critical preservation of Fascist-era artefacts located in public and institutional spaces. The event aims to foster a discussion open to different disciplines such as History, History of Architecture, Heritage Studies, Literature, Philosophy, and Anthropology, and to examine the potential contribution of Art History to the topic. Strategies of memorialization and the role of contemporary art interventions will be discussed in an open dialogue with artists focusing on political monuments and multilayered memories in public space.

See conference program in attachment.

The two-day conference concludes with a Conversation at the Academy between Dell Upton, Professor of Architectural History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Adachiara Zevi, architect, art historian, and president of Fondazione Bruno Zevi, moderated by John Ochsendorf, Professor at MIT and Director of the American Academy in Rome.

DAY 1 Conference
Monday, 11 March 2019

10.00am – 5.00pm
Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana, 22, Rome

DAY 2 Conference
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
10.00am – 5.00pm
American Academy in Rome
AAR Lecture Room, via Angelo Masina, 5, Rome

DAY 2 Conversation
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
6:00pm
American Academy in Rome
AAR Lecture Room, via Angelo Masina, 5, Rome

Presentations will be held in English and Italian. The conference and the discussion are open to the public. No registration required. You can watch the event live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Concept and organization: Carmen Belmonte, 2019 Italian Fellow, American Academy in Rome.

The project is made possible in part by the Fellows' Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is the 2018–19 season sponsor of Conversations/Conversazioni: From the American Academy in Rome.

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

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalks – Anna Majeski and Marcel Sanchez Prieto

  • Monday, 11 March 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome

Anna Majeski
From Cethyn to Sicily: The Worlds of Georgius Fendulus’s “Liber astrologicae”

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there was an explosion in the circulation of astrological knowledge throughout the Mediterranean. Retracing the movement of these ideas allows us to explore encounters between ways of seeing and understanding the cosmos, and breaks down essentialist notions of culturally specific cosmologies. The illuminated manuscript known as the Liber astrologiae—produced for the southern Italian court of Frederick II ca. 1220–40—offers particularly fruitful ground for exploring the circulation of astrological knowledge that was critical to the emergence of a new scientific culture in the medieval Latin West. Anna Majeski uses the concept of “translation” to deconstruct essentialist notions of scientific knowledge that have shaped the readings of this manuscript. Moreover, by homing in on one specific object, she examines translation as an empirical process that occurs through specific triangulations between texts, objects, and individuals—rather than as an encounter between cultural monoliths. Finally, she will ask how the translation of images in this manuscript operates differently than the translation of texts.

Majeski is the Donald and Maria Cox/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Medieval Studies and a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Marcel Sanchez Prieto
Architectural divides: Verticality of a sociopolitical landscape

The eighteenth-century palazzo in Naples and its reconfiguration between the portal, courtyard, and stair responds to a series of limits/thresholds imposed under Spanish rule that have been contested through time, unraveling the politics of space and, in many cases, creating unique conditions between power, city dwelling, and the architecture that frames it.

Marcel Sanchez Prieto is the Frances Barker Tracy/Arnold W. Brunner/Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture, a partner at CRO Studio in San Diego and Tijuana, and professor in the School of Architecture at Woodbury University.

The event will be held in English. Watch Majeski’s shoptalk live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

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

Conversations/Conversazioni

Dell Upton and Adachiara Zevi – Are Monuments History?

  • Tuesday, 12 March 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Charles Keck, “Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson,” 1919-24, Charlottesville VA.

Are monuments memory? While they are often discussed in those terms, it is better to think of them as pastiches of familiar myths and metaphors created for the needs of a particular moment. In addition, they need to be considered as elements of complex landscapes that also contained buildings and open spaces. The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were periods of intense monument building in the service of nationalist projects. Confederate American, Risorgimento Italian, and Fascist monuments all used similar visual and mythic elements, but two were failures. This conversation, moderated by John Ochsendorf, considers all three types of monuments from the point of view of their visual imagery and their roles in civic landscapes. It concludes with a consideration of the reason the Confederate monuments need to be removed.

Dell Upton is Distinguished Professor of Architectural History in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and current James Marston Fitch Resident in Historic Preservation and Conservation at the American Academy in Rome. Adachiara Zevi is an architect, art historian, and president of Fondazione Bruno Zevi. John Ochsendorf is Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Director of the American Academy in Rome.

The conversation concludes a two-day conference held at the Bibliotheca Hertziana and American Academy in Rome on "A Difficult Heritage: The Afterlife of Fascist-Era Architecture, Monuments, and Works of Art in Italy". See conference program in attachment.

The event will be held in English. Watch it livestream at https://livestream.com/aarome.

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is the 2018–19 season sponsor of Conversations/Conversazioni: From the American Academy in Rome.

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

 

 

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalks – Erin Besler and Michelle Lou

  • Monday, 18 March 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome

Erin Besler
What Seems to Be the Problem?

Erin Besler will introduce her project “The Problem with the Corner Problem” and situate it within broader architectural work on construction technologies, amateur production, prosaic materials, social media, and other platforms for producing and sharing content that rely less on expertise and more on ubiquity.

Besler is the Founders Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture, a lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a partner at Besler & Son.

Michelle Lou
New Performance System

Michelle Lou will be demo-ing a new analog/digital live performance system that she is creating at the Academy that involves taking signals from her modular synth into a custom software patch created on max/MSP that processes these signals. The audio is then routed back through the synth for further manipulation. There will also be an audio-reactive visual component to this presentation.

Lou is the Elliott Carter Rome Prize Fellow in Musical Composition and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Music at Dartmouth College.

The event will be held in English. Watch Besler’s shoptalk live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

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

Conversations/Conversazioni

Ayad Akhtar and Mark Robbins – The Body Politic

  • Tuesday, 19 March 2019 - 6:30pm
Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice
New York

Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice
320 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017
​(Enter via the 42nd Street entrance)

Please join us in New York for a Conversations | Conversazioni event featuring the novelist and playwright Ayad Akhtar (2018 Resident) and Mark Robbins, president and CEO of the American Academy in Rome (1997 Fellow).

Akhtar’s debut novel American Dervish (2012) was widely praised, and his play Disgraced won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2013. His most recent dramatic effort, JUNK, ran for three months at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater and was honored with the 2018 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.

This event is free and open to the public; an RSVP is required.

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is the 2018–19 season sponsor of Conversations/Conversazioni: From the American Academy in Rome.

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalks – Franco Baldasso and Dylan Francareta

  • Monday, 25 March 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome

Franco Baldasso
Democracy and Defeat: Literary Dissent during the Transition to Post-Fascism in Italy

The transition from the fall of the Fascist regime in 1943 to the establishment of a new political order in 1948 is still today a most controversial period in Italian culture and history. This talk sheds light on the range and fluidity of opinion in years before the ideological struggle fossilized into Cold War oppositions by focusing on nonaligned intellectuals, such as Carlo Levi and Curzio Malaparte. From opposite political standpoints, Levi and Malaparte stressed the continuity between the new democracy and the previous regime and denounced the lack of the alleged moral regeneration of Italy.

Baldasso is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies and assistant professor of Italian and director of the Italian studies program in the Division of Languages and Literature at Bard College.

Dylan Francareta
Guida Sicuro
Più Attenzione
Meno Incidenti

Dylan Fracareta is interested in how conditions and constraints can be leveraged to generate content, foster exhaustion, and promote adaptive, responsive, meaningful, and inventive outcomes. The act of walking serves as a vehicle for discovery or recovery, while recording, collecting, and manipulating (i.e., inherent features of an iPhone camera) encourage more attention. Elements of chance eliminate decisions and anxieties, enabling the protagonist to be free to see, embrace, and make meaning from daily observations.

Francareta is the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize Fellow in Design and design director at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

The event will be held in English. Watch Baldasso’s shoptalk live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

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