From the 27th to the 10th of September, the archaeological park of Scolacium, in the South of Italy, has hosted the first edition of the international artist residency In-Ruins, featuring 10 artists from different countries in collaboration with Fondazione Armonie D’Arte.
International Contemporary Art Research Project
10-27 September, 2018
Archaeological park of Scolacium, Italy
In-ruins Residency is an international art research project enquiring into the dynamics of archaeology in relation to digital technology. The residency’s aim is to create spaces of encounter between archaeological landscapes and contemporary art practices.
Scolacium is situated in Calabria, one of the poorest regions in Italy, on the seaside of an area that, despite the breath-taking beach and an endless summer, looks and feels abandoned: there is only one pizzeria as hangout and a few families on holiday around, probably living in a crumbling residence that will be permanently shut down once they have left.
The Archaeological park perfectly completes this scenario: making between 20 and 40 visitors per day, it con- tains stratifications of archeological ruins from Greek, roman, Byzantine and Norman eras which lay on a mostly uncultivated rural area, surrounded by a 300 years old olive grove in long and silent sunny days. At Scolacium the excavations that unrevealed a forum, a theatre, an amphitheatre, a necropolis and numerous artifacts, now stored in the museum of the park, have been on and off from the 70s until 2008 when, despite new archaeological remains were regularly discovered, they stopped due to lack of government funds. Scolacium is now a box full of inaccessible treasures: they can’t be seen but everyone knows they are there.
During the two weeks of the residency, the artists have created a routine around the archaeological park to which they had access at any time of the night and the day, have met the dogs of the park, the people of the museum and the café, worked with the staff who showed them every secret corner of the site, accessed uncatalogued archives and participated to workshops. With this mindset, they have started their individual research through which they have constructed personal ways to access the complexity of the space, becoming familiar with it and mapping unique stories on it, contributing to its already thick historical stratification. The researches’ outcomes go from sound art, performances, digital collages, installations, to writing and engage in brand new ways the site, creating unex- pected narratives.
In-ruins is a larger project that doesn’t remain constrained in the two weeks of the residency. Next May, the artists will display the works resulted from the research at the archaeological site, in an exhibition taking place within the archaeological ruins, having the unique chance of working with a space pregnant with endless contexts, myths, images, far from the neutral setting of the traditional gallery space. The project does not only take into account the art produced, but also the site and its changes through it. It is a project about the possibilities of contamination of contemporary art through archaeology and archaeology through contemporary art.
Sarah Roberts,Giovanna Petrocchi, Don Chow, Steph Huang& Anna, Ill Alice Guittard, Simona, Brinkmann,Renata De Bonis, Harley Price, Digital&Dead (Sarah Derat& Rachel McRae), Lidia Bianchi
Juan Covelli , Neale Willis , Nicola Lorini
Azzurra Pitruzzella (b. 1990, Agrigento) is an independent curator working between Lon- don and Italy. Azzurra concluded a MA in Culture Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Mar- tins in London. Born and raised in Agrigento, Azzurra has always had a tight connection with archae- ological ruins. Her research, in fact, focusses on the mechanisms behind the persistence of historical memory in the present and, above all, in the contemporary mind, influenced and accelerated by the digital.
Maria Luigia Gioffre’ (b.1990) is a multidisciplinary visual artist and performer. Graduated at Central Saint Mar- tins, she is the award-winner of Celeste Prize 2017 for the section Installation, Sculpture and Performance. Her work primarilyengageswithnarrationastoolforknowledgeandimaginativeproductionofpersonalandcollectivehistory.
Elisa Costantini (b. 1983, Brasil) is a London based Art director, Photographer and Marketing & Communication specialist for Contemporary Arts. Born in Brasil and raised in Italy, she completed a BA and McS in Economic of Art, Culture & Communication in Italy and a MA in Contemporary Photography, Practices and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins in London. She collaborate as Marketing & Communication consultant with several compa- nies such as KPMG, Ernst & Young, University of Arts London, Art Night London, Avant Garde Dance Company.
In-ruins Residency is run in collaboration with Fondazione Armonie d’Arte, which runs Scolacium Archeological Park, owned by MiBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism).