Archive for June, 2010

An AAR Conference on Freud’s Rome, with Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

June 26, 2010

A rarely experienced perspective on the Forum, through the door of San Lorenzo in Miranda

On Wednesday and Thursday 23-24 June, the Academy hosted a fast-moving international conference, “Freud’s Rome—Phobia and Phantasy”. After an introductory session at the Academy’s Villa Aurelia, the conference took the form of a peripatetic group seminar, with excursions to several of the major Freud sites in the city: the “Gradiva” sculpture in the Vatican’s Museo Chiaramonti, Michelangelo’s “Moses” in San Pietro in Vincoli, and various points in and above the Forum. Each location saw a dialogue between two historians followed by a group discussion.

Andreas Mayer of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin conceived of the conference, which he organized in collaboration with AAR Andrew Heiskell Arts Director Martin Brody (RAAR’02) and Andrew W. Mellon Professor Corey Brennan (FAAR’88).

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In Rome, Eight Days in May (and Three in June) at the Academy

June 7, 2010

The first word that comes to mind is “overstimulating”. In not quite two weeks the American Academy saw an international conference, the opening of a major exhibition, its annual Rome Gala, the Open Studios event (thirteen Fellows participating on three levels of the McKim Mead & White building), the annual Fellows’ Reading, a graduation ceremony (with a farewell to some beloved senior staff), the annual Fellows’ Concert, an introduction to research at the AAR through “Open Stacks”, a Fellows’ collaborative performance at MAXXI and on the Tiber, and a public dialogue on improvisation.

The Academy’s Trustees were in town for much of this, together with the Academy’s new International Council, and they had the opportunity to enjoy all of the above, plus a special program of walks and talks in Rome generated by the Fellows. There was also a major military parade on the Via dei Fori Imperiali to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the creation of the Italian Republic—but fortunately that required no planning on the part of the Academy. Let’s take a look at some images from those events of late May and early June 2010… (more…)

AAR Fellows Bielawa and Hammond Present “Chance Encounter on the Tiber” at MAXXI, Ponte Sisto

June 1, 2010

“Make sure you get a red chair. There are only 100 of them. It’s part of the experience.” That was how an American tourist helpfully explained it to new arrivals as they made it down the long set of embankment stairs at Rome’s Ponte Sisto. The experience in question was “Chance Encounter on the Tiber”, an urban revitalization plan combined with a musical performance composed expressly for outdoor public space. It all went down in two performances on the river walkway on the evening of Monday 31 May. The previous day saw two previews of the project at MAXXI, as part of the opening weekend of Rome’s newest contemporary arts museum. Cosponsors for the event with the AAR included the Comune di Roma, Regione Lazio, the Associazione Tevereterno, MAXXI, Creative Capital, and Fortunato Productions.

The project, a collaboration between current Academy Fellows Robert Hammond (Landscape Architecture) and Lisa Bielawa (Musical Composition) turned a section of the walkway along the Tiber River into a vibrant social open space. To make it all happen, Hammond and Bielawa focused on just two simple means: movable seating and musical performance. (more…)