East and West

Lindsay Harris – Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town

Monday, October 16, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Lindsay Harris - Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town

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

In the twentieth century, the southern Italian town of Matera has evolved 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. In conjunction with the Academy's fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town, this talk will explore Matera's recent evolution through photography.

Lindsay Harris is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at the American Academy in Rome and curator of the exhibition Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town, which is currently on show in the Gallery of the American Academy until 26 November 2017.

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

EXHIBITION EVENTS

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

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

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

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
21 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.

Dacia Maraini

Thursday, October 12, 2017–5:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Dacia Maraini

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

Dacia Maraini's talk will open the exhibition Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian.

The celebrated writer, critic, and theater producer Dacia Maraini will discuss her thoughts on writing, travel, Italy, and the South in the context of the Academy’s fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography and a Southern Italian Town. Daughter of Topazia Alliata, a Sicilian princess, and Fosco Maraini, a Tuscan ethnographer and photographer whose images of Matera are featured in the exhibition, Maraini for decades has used literature as a way to explore Italy and its culture with both profound intimacy and intellectual rigor. Her numerous, critically-acclaimed novels and plays have given voice and agency to women of all walks of life. Like her close friend Pier Paolo Pasolini, whose film, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964), was shot in Matera, Maraini often empowers characters in her stories who struggle to find places for themselves in reality. An avid traveler and keen observer, Maraini will share her unique perspectives on southern Italy and its portrayal through the arts.

Seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5pm.

EXHIBITION EVENTS

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

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
21 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.

Nasser Rabbat & Nader Tehrani – Fluidity

Thursday, January 11, 2018–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Fluidity: Nasser Rabbat and Nader Tehrani (moderated by John Ochsendorf)

In this conversation, noted scholar of architecture, Nasser Rabbat, and cutting-edge designer, Nader Tehrani, will discuss “fluidity” as a paradigm for understanding the built environment of the Mediterranean world. Moderated by John Ochsendorf (2008 Fellow), the conversation will highlight concepts of fluidity in Rabbat’s groundbreaking scholarship on Syrian architectural heritage and in the innovations of Tehrani’s designs.

Rabbat is the Aga Khan Professor and Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT and the 2018 Louis Khan Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. Nader Tehrani is Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, a principal of NADAAA, and the 2018 Resident in Design at the American Academy in Rome. Ochsendorf is Director of the American Academy in Rome and Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture at MIT.

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

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West. The 2017–18 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.​

Emmet Gowin – A Life in Photography

Tuesday, November 14, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Emmet Gowin - A Life in Photography

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

In this lecture, the renowned American photographer Emmet Gowin will discuss his art in the context of the Academy’s fall exhibition, Matera Imagined/Matera Immaginata: Photography of a Southern Italian Town. Since the 1960s, when he first studied photography with Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design, Gowin has been celebrated for his intimate, deeply moving portraits of his wife and muse, Edith, and for his later landscapes and aerial photographs that highlight the impact of modernity on the natural world. Matera Imagined features the arresting landscape he took of Matera’s unique urban layout during a family trip to the town in 1980.

Gowin was born in Danville, Virginia in 1941 and earned his BFA in Graphic Design from the Richmond Professional Institute and his MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has received many distinguished awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His work is included in many museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Maison Européene de la Photographie, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Tokyo Museum of Art.

The event will be held in English. On this occasion, the exhibition will be open from 5pm to 8pm.

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

Conversation
Mario Cresco with Roberta Valtorta
Photography and Matera
21 November 2017
6:15pm, 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.

The Political Power of Sacred Texts

Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
The Political Power of Sacred Texts

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

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.

Please see the attachment below for the complete program of speakers.

This conference is sponsored by American Academy in Rome and the Pontifical Biblical Insititute.

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

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

Thursday, October 12–Sunday, November 26, 2017

AAR Gallery
McKim, Mead & White Building
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.

William Jordan – King Louis IX’s Other Converts

Tuesday, October 3, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
William Jordan – King Louis IX’s Other Converts

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 fall 2017.

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

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.

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