"Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters" launches two new projects

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"Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters" launches two new projects
Archivi e Depositi del Parco Archeologico di Pompei © Giovanna Silva, Humboldt Books.

POMPEII.- In autumn 2022, Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters – the first long-term, contemporary art programme, established by the Archaeological Park of Pompeii – launches its first printed publication as well as a new yearly programme of Digital Fellowships, whose inaugural participants are seven international artists, designers, thinkers, and researchers: Formafantasma, Allison Katz, Miao Ying, Legacy Russell, Anri Sala, Rose Salane, and Sissel Tolaas. Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters was conceived in 2020 by Massimo Osanna (General Director of Italy’s National Museums) and Andrea Viliani (Director of the Museum of Civilizations, Rome), and since 2021 it has been overseen by Gabriel Zuchtriegel (General Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii). The programme is curated by Andrea Viliani and Stella Bottai with Caterina Avataneo. Project Management: Laura Mariano.

After the first two years of activities – focused on reconfiguring the archaeological site of Pompeii as a foundation for alternative forms of knowledge, forming through a multiplicity of functions, and studying and sharing the multiple cognitive potentials of Pompeii and the episteme of its “archaeological matters” – Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters is now developing a new step of its research platform launching Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters – Digital Fellowships, a new yearly programme, facilitating artistic and curatorial research within Pompeii’s uniquely trans-temporal, multi-species, and deeply entangled context. The first and unique framework of this kind at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, the Digital Fellowships promote and foster plural forms of engagement, interpretation and accessibility to Pompeian heritage and its multiple histories through the technological episteme of our time, as well as empower the transformability of matters, critically exploring what matters have become, or could become, within our digital epoch.

Curated by the curatorial team of Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters and other guest curators, under the lead of Stella Bottai, and developed in partnership with CURA., Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters – Digital Fellowships enable international participants to carry out an expanded – both remote and in situ – research over a period of several months, focusing on Pompeii or aspects related to its symbology and meaning at large. The new Digital Fellowships acknowledge and nurture Pompeii’s global relevance as an active, contemporary research centre whose archaeological dimension lies in the present and future even more than the past.

Over the course of their Digital Fellowship period, participants identify and receive access to archaeological resources, newly commissioned and archival documentation, scientific literature, and other research materials. They are offered the possibility to be in dialogue with Pompeii’s team of professionals and researchers, such as archaeologists, anthropologists, archaeozoologists, archaeobotanists, geologists, chemists, architects, conservators. The Digital Fellowships endorse and encourage open-ended and experimental methodologies, driven by innovative approaches. At the end of their research period, each participant shares an outcome on the digital portal pompeiicommitment.org to mark the culmination of their fellowship.

The inaugural participants in 2022-2023 are Formafantasma, Allison Katz, Miao Ying, Legacy Russell, Anri Sala, Rose Salane, and Sissel Tolaas.

Anri Sala is the author of the first Digital Fellowship, to be published in two parts on pompeiicommitment.org: Side A on 1 September 2022, and Side A Too on 6 October 2022. Anri Sala’s Digital Fellowship is curated by Marcella Beccaria, Chief Curator and Curator of Collections at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin and Vice President of AMACI-Associazione dei Musei d’Arte Contemporanea Italiani. Its online publication on pompeiicommitment.org will be followed by a limited-edition vinyl release.

The works of Anri Sala are devices that instigate the “present moment”, becoming co-producers of the elusive time-space fragment that separates the before from the after and the past from the memory that tries to remember it. Sala’s Digital Fellowship research focuses on the remains of two victims of Vesuvius’ eruption, found in 2020 during the excavations in Civita Giuliana, and connects them with the recovery of a double flute (known as aulos in Ancient Greek, tibia in Latin) during earlier excavations at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. Sala engages with the possibility of working on a relation between two victims and the double musical instrument by imagining a piece of music whose length corresponds to the void left by their bodies. Played by an experimental reconstruction of the ancient tibia, the final aural piece, currently under production, will offer an elegy to the ancient inhabitants of Pompeii – a site which keeps coming back from the past into the present, transmitting toward the future, making both space and time porous entities, folded in and on themselves.

Again, in autumn 2022 will be released the first printed publication edited by Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters and published by Silvana Editoriale. Conceived as both the culmination of and a further reflection upon Pompeii Commitment’s foundational activities (December 2020–June 2022) on the digital research centre pompeiicommitment.org, this upcoming catalogue Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters: 2020-2022 brings together and celebrates the contributions of over sixty international artists, curators, writers, activists, and archaeologists: Abbas Akhavan, Carlo and Flavia Alfano, Maria Thereza Alves, Negar Azimi, Anna Boghiguian, Andrea Branzi, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Canis_in_Somno, Cairo Clarke, Cooking Sections, Chiara Costa, Agnes Denes, Jimmie Durham, Emma Enderby, Haris Epaminonda, Brandon English, Eva Fabbris, Milovan Farronato, Simone Fattal, Lara Favaretto, Claire Fontaine, Simone Forti, Beatrice Gibson, Liam Gillick, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Nick Gordon, Oulimata Gueye, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Petrit Halilaj, Lionel Hubert, Invernomuto, Prem Krishnamurthy Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Luisa Lambri, Lina Lapelyte, Rebecca Lewin, Luca Lo Pinto, Matteo Lucchetti, Goshka Macuga, Elena Magini, Anna Maria Maiolino, Elena Mazzi, Marzia Migliora, Boris Mikhailov, Otobong Nkanga, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Charlemagne Palestine, Giulio Paolini, Gianni Pettena, Lucia Pietroiusti, Michael Rakowitz, Lucy Raven, Tabita Rezaire, Mathilde Rosier, Tai Shani, Amie Siegel, Paul Sietsema, Giovanna Silva, Himali Singh Soin&David Soin Tappeser, Sarah Swenson, Adrian Villar Rojas, Salvatore Settis, Marianna Vecellio, Lawrence Weiner and Kandis Williams/Cassandra Press.

Invited to think with and through Pompeii as a potential site for research on contemporary subjects, these participants have created and shared reflections, proposals and responses that span different media and formats – such as poetry, interviews, film, drawing, photography, sound, collages and more. The publication also features introductory texts by Gabriel Zuchtriegel (Director General of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii), Massimo Osanna (Director General of Italy’s National Museums; co-founder of Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters) and Andrea Viliani (Director of the Museum of Civilizations, Rome; co-founder of Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters) as well as closing notes by Stella Bottai (co-curator of the programme with Andrea Viliani, Laura Mariano and Caterina Avataneo).

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