East and West

Mario Cresci & Roberta Valtorta – Photography and Matera

Tuesday, November 21, 2017–6:15 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Mario Cresci and Roberta Valtorta – Photography and Matera

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

A conversation between Mario Cresci, one of the most compelling artists in Italy to explore the contemporary world through photography, and Roberta Valtorta, Founder and former Director of the Museo di Fotografia Contemporane. Taking as its cue the two works by Cresci on view in the Academy’s fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town, the artist and curator will discuss Cresci’s art, photography as a language, and the key role photography has played in redefining Italian landscape from the 1970s to today.

The event will be held in Italian. You can watch it livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome. On this occasion, the exhibition will be open from 5pm to 8pm.

The 2017–18 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

EXHIBITION EVENTS

Inaugural Lecture
Dacia Maraini
12 October 2017
5:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Exhibition Opening
12 October 2017
6:30pm-9pm, AAR Gallery

Curator Lecture
Lindsay Harris
Matera Imagined
16 October 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Lecture
Emmet Gowin
A Life in Photography
14 November 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

GALLERY HOURS

Thursday-Sunday, 4pm-7pm
12 October- 26 November 2017

The exhibition will also be open on 16 October, 14 November and 21 November from 5pm to 8pm.

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

Thursday, October 12–Sunday, November 26, 2017

AAR Gallery
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town

Artists: Piergiorgio Branzi, Esther Bubley, Mario Carbone, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mario Cresci, Marjory Collins, Luigi Ghirri, Emmet Gowin, Fosco Maraini, David Seymour, Augusto Viggiano, Carrie Mae Weems, Dan Weiner, Joseph Williams, and Yasmin Vobis.

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.

Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town is curated by Lindsay Harris, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at the American Academy in Rome. The exhibition and catalogue are made possible by Fondazione Matera Basilicata 2019. Additional support provided by Richard Baron and Adi Shamir Baron.

Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town travels to the Museo nazionale d’arte medievale e moderna, Palazzo Lanfranchi in Matera from December 7, 2017, to February 4, 2018 as part of a series of events celebrating Matera as the European Capital of Culture 2019.

Exhibition Events

Inaugural Lecture
Dacia Maraini
October 12, 2017
5:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Curator Lecture
Lindsay Harris
Matera Imagined
October 16, 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Lecture
Emmet Gowin
A Life in Photography
November 14, 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
November 21, 2017
6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room

Gallery Hours

Thursday–Sunday, 4:00–7:00pm
October 12–November 26, 2017

The exhibition will also be open on October 16, November 14, and November 21 from 5pm to 8pm.

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

Yto Barrada: The Dye Garden

Thursday, May 10–Sunday, July 8, 2018

AAR Gallery
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Yto Barrada, The Dye Garden

This exhibition features new work by the acclaimed Franco-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada, who is at the forefront of international artists reconfiguring the models established by the Orientalist tradition and its echoes in modern art. She explores the landscape and culture of North Africa as it was understood and trafficked in the colonial and postcolonial eras. Her work in various media riffs on modernist works by American or European artists who have traveled in or represented Morocco, reinterpreting their canonical abstract motifs through the lens of decorative traditions characteristic of the Maghreb. Playfully subversive, Barrada often approaches serious issues through the self-conscious fake or the medium of children's toys, the means through which insidious ideas were reinforced. In doing so, she undermines both the ideological foundations of the EastWest divide and the mechanisms used to perpetuate it.

Barrada studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. She is the founding director of Cinémathèque de Tanger, dedicated to the circulation and preservation of film in Morocco. Barrada’s work in photography, film, sculpture, prints, and installation began by exploring the peculiar situation of her hometown, Tangier. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern (London), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Renaissance Society (Chicago), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Haus der Kunst (Munich), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale. She was the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year for 2011. A comprehensive monograph of her work was published by JRP | Ringier in 2013. She is a recipient of the 2013 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University and was awarded the 2015 Abraaj Group Prize for Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian artists.

Her exhibition Agadir is on view at the Barbican in London through May 20, 2018. Pace Gallery in New York has staged a survey of her work, titled How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself, that is open until May 5.

Yto Barrada is the Roy Lichtenstein Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. The Dye Garden is curated by Peter Benson Miller, Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome. This exhibition is made possible by the Roy Lichtenstein Artist in Residence Fund and the Embassy of the United States of America to Italy.

Collateral Events

Keynote Lecture
Avinoam Shalem
Through the Backdoor: The Histories of “Islamic” Art and Architecture in Italy
17 May 2018
6:30pm, Lecture Room

Conference
Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation
18 May 2018
10:00am–6:00pm, Lecture Room

Gallery Hours

Thursday–Saturday, 4:00–7:00pm
10 May–8 July 2018

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

Yto Barrada & Bartolomeo Pietromarchi – Reverse Flow

Tuesday, September 26, 2017–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
Yto Barrada and Bartolomeo Pietromarchi - Reverse Flow

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

In this conversation, which kicks off the American Academy in Rome’s 2017–18 theme, East and West, a series of events in several disciplines exploring exchanges and conflicts between the West and the Islamic World, Yto Barrada discusses her work with the MAXXI curator Bartolomeo Pietromarchi. Barrada studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work—including photography, film, sculpture, prints and installations—began by exploring the peculiar situation of her hometown Tangier. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), The Renaissance Society (Chicago), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale.

She was the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year for 2011, after which her exhibit RIFFS traveled to several cities, including the MACRO in Rome under Pietromarchi’s directorship. Barrada is also the founding director of Cinémathèque de Tanger. A comprehensive monograph of her work was published by JRP Ringier in 2013. She is a recipient of the 2013–14 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography (Peabody Museum at Harvard University) and was awarded the 2015 Abraaj Prize.

Barrada is the Mary Miss Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the fall of 2017. The event will be held in English.

The 2017–18 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

Don DeLillo

Friday, December 15, 2017–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Don DeLillo - Lecture

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

The keynote address for the conference “P. B. Shelley’s The Revolt of Islam: Texts, Subtexts, Contexts,” organized in collaboration with the Keats-Shelley House, will be given by the celebrated author Don DeLillo, whose novel Falling Man (2007) explores the aftermath of September 11 through the experience of a survivor of the attacks on New York. A postcard sent from Rome—a reproduction of the cover of Shelley’s poem that was purchased at the Keats-Shelley House in Piazza di Spagna—makes an important cameo appearance in the novel.

DeLillo is the American Academy in Rome Writer in Residence in December 2017. The lecture and reading will be held in English.

This event is supported in part by the Embassy of the United States of America to Italy and in part by the Keats-Shelley House.

P. B. Shelley’s “The Revolt of Islam”: Texts, Subtexts, Contexts

Friday, December 15, 2017 2:00 PM–7:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
P. B. Shelley’s The Revolt of Islam: Texts, Subtexts, Contexts

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

As part of the series of events at the American Academy in Rome exploring East and West, and in particular the misunderstandings and exchanges between the West and the Islamic World, this conference organized in collaboration with the Keats-Shelley House revisits Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem The Revolt of Islam, first published in 1817 as Laon and Cythna. On the afternoon of December 15, 1817, the publisher Charles Ollier met with Thomas Love Peacock, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and Shelley himself to discuss the potentially controversial and contentious nature of Shelley’s poem. Marking the bicentenary of that meeting, papers in English and in Italian will focus on historical and contextual issues, as well as the contemporary resonances of Shelley’s poem.

The keynote address (at 6:00pm) will be given by the celebrated author Don DeLillo, whose novel Falling Man (2007) explores the aftermath of 9/11 through the experience of a survivor of the attacks on New York. A postcard sent from Rome, a reproduction of the cover of Shelley’s poem purchased at the Keats-Shelley House in Piazza di Spagna, makes an important cameo appearance in the novel. DeLillo is the American Academy in Rome Writer in Residence in December 2017.

The conference is organized by Giuseppe Albano, curator and director of the Keats-Shelley House, and Maria Valentini, professor of English literature at the Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale. This event is supported in part by the Embassy of the United States of America to Italy and in part by the Keats-Shelley House.

Both the conference and the keynote address will be held in English. You can watch the event at https://livestream.com/aarome. The keynote address will not be livestreamed.

Richard Powell – Resurrection and Respiration: Two Sculptures by Edmonia Lewis and Francesco Pezzicar

Tuesday, November 7, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Richard Powell - Resurrection and Respiration: Two Sculptures by Edmonia Lewis and Francesco Pezzicar

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

In the eyes of many art critics who attended the United States’ 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—an international event of colossal proportions—two of most noteworthy and controversial art works on display were The Death of Cleopatra (1876) by the Rome-based African American sculptor Edmonia Lewis (ca. 1844–1907) and The Abolition of Slavery (1873) by the Trieste-based Italian sculptor Francesco Pezzicar (1831–1890). While past and present commentaries have viewed the marble and bronze statues independently, and thematically and aesthetically distinct from one another, this talk offers more radical and interconnected interpretations of the two sculptures. Both were created on the Italian peninsula in an atmosphere of lingering doubts about the greater nationalist project that was then underway, and both rendered their respective subjects with an idiosyncratic corporeality that, in tandem with their inferred narratives about the end of slavery and nobility in death, broached more psychological and spiritual concerns. These historical and thematic correspondences argue for an inquiry unbound by stylistic categories or East/West binaries but, rather, considerations of the aesthetic sensibilities and synergies that developed within the post-Risorgimento artistic milieu.

Richard Powell is the James S. Ackerman Scholar-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome in fall 2017. He is Dean of the Humanities and the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University.

The event is organized in collaboration with the Rome Art History Network.

The lecture will be held in English. You can watch it live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim & Nico Muhly – Contrapuntalism

Tuesday, March 6, 2018–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim and Nico Muhly - Contrapuntalism

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

Ever since Edward Saïd, scholars have alerted listeners to the ways in which composers of Western classical music have dipped into other traditions in order to dress up a musical Other with which to converse and compete. This can range from the use of formulaic exotic signifiers to direct quotation, but also includes the more diffuse assimilation of styles, ideas, and genres.

With every successive generation of composers untangling the counterpoint of musical signifiers, our readings of them become more complex: how do we hear, for instance, a twenty-first-century work alluding to Benjamin Britten’s infatuation with Balinese music? And how do composers today negotiate concerns regarding cultural appropriation?

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim is the Critic in Residence at the American Academy in Rome and music critic for the New York Times. Nico Muhly is the Paul Fromm Composer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

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

The Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation

Friday, May 18, 2018 10:00 AM–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation

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

Gli Arabi in Italia, edited by Francesco Gabrieli and Umberto Scerrato and published in 1979, remains an inescapable, richly illustrated compendium for those interested in the wide variety of objects and monuments linked to Islamic culture in Italy. This conference critically investigates the origins of this influential volume, and the scholarly approaches and assumptions that shaped it, in order to contextualize more recent avenues of inquiry in the field.

Much has changed in the past forty years as scholarship about the Islamic presence in Italy and its legacy has been conditioned by a renewed attention to material culture, on the one hand, and a widespread interest in the Islamic world, on the other. Focusing on the latest methodologies used to analyze the categories of objects documented by Gabrieli, Scerrato and their collaborators—including ceramics, rock crystal, metalwork, and architecture—we can track the ongoing transformation and most up to date findings of this dynamic and multifaceted field. Featuring leading scholars from Italy, the United States and Europe, the conference aims to create a meaningful dialogue between the historiographical tradition culminating in the volume Gli Arabi in Italia and the innovative methods that have emerged since its publication.

The keynote address on May 17 at 6:30pm will be delivered by Avinoam Shalem, the Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam at Columbia University.

The conference is organized by Peter Benson Miller, Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome, and Silvia Armando, Italian Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2017. It is made possible in part by the Embassy of the United States of America to Italy.

The event will be held in English and Italian. Most of the presentations will be streamed live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

COLLATERAL EVENTS

Keynote Lecture
Avinoam Shalem
Through the Backdoor: The Histories of 'Islamic' Art and Architecture in Italy
17 May 2018
6:30pm, Lecture Room

Exhibition
Yto Barrada, The Dye Garden
Thursday–Saturday, 4:00–7:00pm
10 May–8 July 2018

Avinoam Shalem – Through the Backdoor: The Histories of “Islamic” Art and Architecture in Italy

Thursday, May 17, 2018–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Avinoam Shalem – Through the Backdoor: The Histories of 'Islamic' Art and Architecture in Italy

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

Introducing the main themes of the symposium, Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation, taking place at the American Academy in Rome on 18 May, Avinoam Shalem sets the methodological and historiographic stage for the proceedings.

Mainly discussed as part of European popular culture and being categorized and, to some extent, underestimated as exotica, the oriental carnival of 1886 organized within the neighborhood of the ancient Jewish Ghetto in Florence, located to the south of the present Piazza della Repubblica, serves as the starting point for this lecture. Reconstructed as the “City of Baghdad,” this carnival created a tableau vivant (living picture) of the Orient in the quotidian life of Florence. Its timing, namely shortly after the modern planning of this area as the main open public space at the time that Florence was the capital of the Italian State (between 1865 and 1871) and just before the Ghetto’s demolition, underscores the rapidly falling dusk of “Orientalism” in favor of historicism and national modernism. But it also hints at the long tradition of blurring the borders between Islam and Judaism in the Italian-speaking zone, either deliberately or innocuously. In this lecture the specific choices and cases of linking Judaism and Islam will be discussed in order to suggest a long durèe of alternative “Backdoor History” for understanding the reception of Islamic art and architecture in Italy and for the making of its Image.

Avinoam Shalem is the Riggio Professor of the arts of Islam at the Columbia University. His main field of interest is in medieval artistic interactions in the Mediterranean basin, medieval aesthetic and the historiography of the field of art history. Among his recent publications: Reconstructing the Image of the Prophet in Europe (2013); The Image of the Prophet between Ideal and Ideology: A Scholarly Investigation (with Christiane J. Gruber, 2014); Gazing Otherwise: Modalities of Seeing In and Beyond the Lands of Islam (with Olga Bush, 2015); and The Chasuble of Thomas Beck: A Biography (2017). He cocurated the exhibition The Future of Tradition: The Tradition of Future at the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2010) and is currently directing the research projects When Nature Becomes Ideology: Palestine after 1947. Shalem was a Resident at the American Academy in Rome in 2016.

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

This lecture is made possible in part by the Embassy of the United States of America to Italy.

Collateral Events

Conference
Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation
18 May 2018
10:00am–6:00pm, Lecture Room

Exhibition
Yto Barrada, The Dye Garden
Thursday–Saturday, 4:00–7:00pm
10 May–8 July 2018

Subscribe to East and West