Events

Calendar

May 2019

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalk – Virginia Virilli

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

Virginia Virilli

Virginia Virilli is the Italian Fellow in literature and a writer who lives and works in Rome.

Please note: 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.

Performance

Tom Johnson/Adrienne Kennedy - Life Clings Closest Where Most Hated

  • Tuesday, 14 May 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Cryptoporticus
Visual study for Lives Clings Closest Where Most Hated, using page 1 of Kennedy's Frankenstein notebook and a photo of ice build-up on a US Coast Guard cutter from the Northern Greenland Patrol during World War Two. Tom Johnson, 2019.

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: The Body.

Life Clings Closest Where Most Hated
A performance by Tom Johnson based on Adrienne Kennedy's notes on Frankenstein.

The American Academy in Rome is proud to present the international debut of this collaboration between celebrated playwright Adrienne Kennedy and Turin based American artist Tom Johnson. Inspired by Kennedy’s reading of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein – a landmark in the development of modern notions about the body, difference, and social alienation – Johnson has created an installation and performance expressly for the exhibition The Academic Body, which opens on May 22.

Adrienne Kennedy, who was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2018, has explored issues of race, kinship, and violence in American society in plays such as Funny House of a Negro, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White, and The Alexander Plays. Kennedy draws on mythical, historical, and imaginary figures to delve into the African-American experience. As Hilton Als has written in the New Yorker, Kennedy’s women of color “stand on the precipice of disaster, madness or loss.” Funnyhouse of a Negro, which Kennedy completed while living in Rome in 1961, after traveling through Europe and West Africa, premiered in New York and won an Obie Award in 1964. Her distinctive voice was immediately recognized as one of the boldest and most incisive in American theater.

Johnson, whose work encompasses drawing, sculpture, video, and live performance, has explored many of the themes central to Kennedy’s plays. The artist states: "I am interested in analyzing some social taboos, not because I am so brave and strong but because I feel oppressed by them and can imagine that there is a better way to feel. My strategy is very simple. I analyze certain phenomena (racism, the male “gaze”, the psychology of wealth) because I find them in myself."

The event is made possible by the Roy Lichtenstein Artist in Residence Fund, the Robert Mapplethorpe Photographer in Residence Fund and the Terra Foundation for American Art. 

Please note: 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.