Cinque Mostre 2015 is an annual exhibition of work by current Rome Prize Fellows. This year it includes Fellow-curated collaborative projects and a guest-curated project by Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin of Cura. in which Fellows in several disciplines and invited artists take part in a multifaceted exhibition, Milk Revolution, installed in various sites throughout the McKim, Mead & White Building.
Curated by Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin of CURA.
Artists: Artie Vierkant, Vanessa Safavi, Bunny Rogers, Alessandro Piangiamore, Abinadi Meza, Cynthia Madansky, Adam Kuby, Corin Hewitt, Keith Hennessy, Elias Hansen, Francesca Grilli, Carin Goldberg, Martino Gamper, Anna Franceschini, Luca Francesconi, Andrea De Stefani, Gabriele De Santis, and Tomaso De Luca.
When Allen Ginsberg, writer and poet of the Beat Generation, photographed his friend Harry Smith—a painter, archivist, anthropologist, and film director—in 1985 at the Breslin Hotel in Manhattan attempting to turn milk into milk, he portrayed in a concise image an entire generation called to face major changes and struggles, through the subversive gesture of an impossible alchemy. At times, the impact of an artistic action can assume its own revolutionary force, even if only transitory, fleeting, light. According to Bachelard, poets and alchemists are those who translate into images the spell that the image itself casts on the psyche—a spell that becomes stronger with the poets and alchemists’ deepening knowledge of the basic elements that determine moods, and the ability to manipulate, process, transmute them. Under this reverie of alchemical connections, Milk Revolution brings together the work of fellows from the American Academy in Rome and that of a selection of nonresident international artists, outlining an unsystematic, antinarrative, fluid path, an open device, which contravenes the common sense of a concise thought and amalgamates and moods associated with changes of state, metamorphosis, the temporal span of the work, in an anarchical opposition of elements pitted against approval and control. In the dimension of the exhibition space, the mutant and regressive process acts as a counterpoint to an aestheticized, timeless and suspended ambivalence, probing whims of, autonomy and escape, but also empathy and unpleasantness, fascination and for the elements. The exhibition therefore aims at defining a microsystem in which the mutation of matter, the flow of a dripping, the unpredictable path of wax, elements in a perpetual state of flux, the liberating gesture of a repetitive brushstroke, the impalpable transparency of tulle, the unexpected patterns of faux marble, the frenzied sound coming from a remote place, a wild raptor acting instinctively become a representation of an imagination called to explore the hidden folds of the human being and the “fragile nonsense of always being oneself, constantly becoming something else.”
Lakshmi Ramgopal a.k.a. Lykanthea and Paula Matthusen
Christian catacombs associated with female martyrs and donors are unique on account of their rarity. The same is true of the hagiographies of these women, which depict their commitment to complexly defined virtue, while fetishizing their rape and torture as a prerequisite for a sainthood particular to women. Prex Gemina explores the spectral affinities of these spaces by examining the silences that surround them. To do so, it critically engages with techniques drawn from Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), which amplifies ambient recordings with the goal of hearing the supernatural. Recordings of stretched silences, bracketed by questions into the air, are transduced through the walls of the sound installation space. By doing so, Prex Gemina creates an interface, using the walls of a bounded space, upon which visitors listen to the captured loss.
Anna Serotta with Adam Kuby, Krys Lee, and Liz Moore
This project seeks to explore the interpretation of fragmentary material culture by condensing the cycle of creation, destruction and recreation. Four participants will enact a live performance in which an original text, composed from contributions by several fellows, will be carved into a block of Carrara marble. In a live performance, this block will be fragmented, and then the text will be reimagined via prose passages composed extemporaneously before an audience by two writers.
Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud, COMMONstudio
The visual beauty and physical presence of Rome’s iconic monuments have been captured, crafted, and reverberated ad infinitum across the globe in formats ranging from the dramatic compositions of Piranesi prints and Fellini films, to the pages of tourist brochures and the digital image crafting that happens daily from the telescoping reach of selfie sticks. Yet insisting on reading these sites merely as relics of the past to be consumed as image precludes vital conversations about how they continue to live, breathe, and develop in the present day. A Roma seeks a reexamination of Rome’s iconic monuments through an alternative sensory celebration of elements that are too often overlooked. Living material from the various vegetal ecologies of three sites has been collected, cataloged, and processed by means of steam distillation to extract and interpret each place as a unique essence that can be experienced in the form of a smell. By defamiliarizing the familiar, and familiarizing the unfamiliar aspects of Rome’s, new interpretations of both monumental space and urban ecology are made possible. We hope that the installation serves to create moments of discovery in which locals and visitors alike are invited to reexamine their stable expectations, memories, and assumptions about the Eternal City.
Dislodging the Silence: Public Art Intervening in Mussolini’s Foro Italico
The Foro Italico remains one of Mussolini’s most compelling and disturbing propaganda sites. Visited by thousands every week on their way to sporting events, the Foro Italico’s extensive mosaic program celebrating Italy’s conquering of Ethiopia, and its monumental male figures around tennis courts and running track, all capture the ideology of Mussolini’s vision of a new Roman empire. But for all its importance, there has been virtually no effort to invite visitors to confront the reality of the fascist ideology displayed on the site. For all its imperial bombast, the Foro Italico is mute about its past.
This exhibition dislodges the silence by proposing ideas for public art interventions for the Foro Italico. Participating artists are: Francesco Arena; Lorenzo Romito and the Stalker collective; Dario Scaravelli and the Startt group; Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock; Stefano Canto, and Cynthia Madansky.
Firat Erdim and Olivia Valentine
Satellites brings together the documentation of performances from two distant terrains. Processions, marches, pilgrimages, and parades are collective ways of continuously reaffirming or redefining the significance of civic space. The actions documented in Satellites are attempts to address that ground as individuals. In Segovia, a topography of the city is mapped out through circumnavigations metered by a central bell tower. In Cappadocia, a single figure delineates the open landscape through walking the edges of the table mountains.
Opening hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 4:00 to 7:00pm until March 1, 2015.
The exhibition is supported by untitled association. Thanks to Birra Menabrea and Cantina Zaccagnini.