Simposio is a collective presentation of the works, experiences and research shared by our 2023 resident artists:
Arie Amaya-Akkermans, Beatrice Celli, Akshay Mahajan, Matilde Sambo, Traslochi Emotivi, Simon Bellouard, Cañadas&Murua
Simposio recounts of an artist residency lasted thirty days where eight national and international artists shared experiences, food, wine, studies, researches and practices within the multi-layered landscape of Amendolara and Sybaris Archaeological Park, wherein the history, identities and stories of these places are preserved. The 2023 edition of In-ruins residency comes as an expanded peripato: an artistic, philosophical, cultural and political junction and dock where archaeology becomes fertile ground for magical visions expanding into the interstices of historiographic fragments - an imaginary space where the soil and mud incarnate the proto-history of tangible memories that, yet, do not exist. A magic and mysterious South resonates, elated with bowels and sky, with hands transforming the landscape and rituals consecrating time.
In Necklace for Giantesses by Beatrice Celli, imaginary archaeological findings become tools of fantastic narrations and alternative iconographies: traces of uncanny anatomies and feminine possible worlds. Between reality and fiction also fall the footsteps of the chimera inhabiting Simon Bellouard’s photos: like in an ancient bestiary, it escapes categorizations and survives, in the myth and at the borders of ancient ruins. Beyond history is located The Archive of the Invisible by Ashkay Mahajan, that, through the exploration of the Museum storage, breaks the curtain like in a theater, and recounts of the silent work of archivists, typographers, photographers and all those who make archeological research possible without being seen. It is exactly between the visible and the invisible that the current condition of the Archeological Park of Sibari reveals itself as kept alive by a complex system of vacuums and aspirators that postpone its inexorable sinking among faint breaths.
How long will this place resist water, air, time, future? A question shared, at a different scale, the three metal tanks constituting Matilde Sambo’s Irabis, where monumental miniatures of clay melt slowly inside mirrors and water, evoking intimate yet planetary and destinies. Such constant mutability and dynamism of the landscape as impacted by human intervention, is constitutional to the research of Canadas & Murua, titled Sedimentación del paisaje. Over the course of the residency, the duo has explored the local orography; visited farmlands and consortia; harvested seeds, fruits and aromas; and merged them all into a functional organic pavement, destined to return to the land.
A land - Calabria - of landfalls, short waits and departures, impregnated of movings and diasporas of which the affective architecture, as in archeology, does not offer reconstructions if not via the memory of the remaining keepers of this depopulated and phantasmatic South. This legacy finds shelter and rest in the enchanted encounter of breathing bodies and sounds of Deposta, the apparition-performance by Traslochi Emotivi: a memory of the other situated between life and death and embodied through a pagan ritual activated at the very margins of the Park, where the image of its ruins blends with the roars and engines from the 106 superhighway. Another path defines, instead, the metaphysical horizon of the lecture-performance Go Straight to the Right, Having Kept Watch on All Things Very Well by Arie Amaya-Akkermans that, starting from the rather impossible decipherability of the the instructions to the afterlife written in ancient orphic tablets, narrates of a travel between worlds and underworlds, where irreconcilable fragments become metaphor of a subtle yet essential question underlying all the contributions to Simposio: what is, ultimately, an archeological fact?
Simposio racconta di una residenza d’artista durata trenta giorni in cui otto artisti e artiste nazionali e internazionali condividono esperienze, cibo, vino, studi, ricerche e pratiche all’interno dell’esteso paesaggio di Amendolara, di Sibari e del suo Parco Archeologico e Museo Nazionale in cui l’identità, la storia e le storie di questi luoghi sono custodite. L’edizione 2023 della residenza di In-ruins si connota così, come un peripato espanso, crocevia e al contempo approdo artistico, filosofico, culturale, politico, dove l’archeologia diventa un terreno umido in cui visioni magiche si stagliano nell’interstizio del frammento storiografico, uno spazio immaginifico dove il fango difforme si fa protostoria di ricordi che non esistono, eppure oniricamente tangibili. Ciò che risuona è un Sud magico, ebbro di viscere e cielo, di mani che mutano il paesaggio e riti che consacrano il tempo.
In Collana per Gigantesse di Beatrice Celli, reperti archeologici immaginari diventano dispositivo di narrazioni fantastiche e iconografie alternative: tracce di anatomie perturbanti e mondi femminili possibili. Tra realtà e finzione si imprimono anche le orme della chimera che abita gli scatti di Simon Bellouard che, come in un antico bestiario, sfugge a categorizzazioni e sopravvive, nel mito, ai margini di antiche rovine. Oltre la storia si situa L’archivio dell’Invisibile realizzato da Akshay Mahajan che, esplorando i depositi del Museo, come in un teatro, rompe le quinte per raccontare del lavoro silenzioso di archivisti, tipografi, fotografi e tecnici che rendono possibile la ricerca archeologica senza mai essere visti.Tra visibile e invisibile si incastra il presente delle rovine stesse del Parco Archeologico di Sibari, tenuto in vita da un complesso sistema di aspiratori che ne rimandano l’inesorabile inabissamento tra flebili respiri.
Quanto ancora potrà resistere questo luogo ad acqua, aria, tempo, futuro? Un interrogativo che permea, in scala differente, le tre vasche metalliche che costituiscono Irabis, l’opera di Matilde Sambo in cui miniature monumentali di argilla si sciolgono lentamente dentro specchi d’acqua, evocando destini intimi ma planetari e geologici. La costante mutevolezza e dinamicità del paesaggio e dell’intervento umano fondano la ricerca svolta in Sedimentazione del Paesaggio del duo Canadas&Murua che, per tutto il corso della residenza, hanno esplorato orografia e colture del territorio; visitato coltivazioni e consorzi; raccolto semi, frutti e odori confluiti in una pavimentazione funzionale ma organica, destinata quindi a tornare a farsi terra.
Una terra, quella della Calabria, di approdi, soste e partenze, impregnata di traslochi e diaspore di cui l’architettura affettiva, come nell’archeologia, non ha ricostruzione se non a ritroso nella memoria di custodi e guardiani di un Sud disabitato e fantasmatico. Di questo lascito si fa deriva e dimora l’incanto e l’incontro vivo di corpi e suoni nell’apparizione-performance Deposta di Traslochi Emotivi: una memoria dell’altrove sulla soglia tra vita e morte che propone un rito pagano situato ai margini del Parco, dove l’immagine delle rovine si confonde con rombi e motori della SS106. Un’altra strada definisce, invece, l’orizzonte metafisico della lecture-performance Go Straight to the Right, Having Kept Watch on All Things Very Well di Arie Amaya Akkermans che, partendo dall’illeggibilità delle istruzioni per l’aldilà contenute in antiche tavolette orfiche, racconta di un viaggio tra mondi, fino e oltre gli inferi, dove frammenti irreconciliabili si fanno metafora di una domanda sotterranea e fondamentale che attraversa l’intero discorso proposto da Simposio: cos’è, in ultimo, un fatto archeologico?
In-ruins residency | 2023 edition
residency dates: 1 September - 1 October
Further to this selection, the participation to the residency of the following artists:
together with the already selected Beatrice Celli, is made possible thanks to Culture Moves Europe, the largest european mobility scheme in the cultural sector, promoted by the European Union and implemented by Goethe-Institut.
DIRECTOR FONDAZIONE ELPIS
ART HISTORIAN AND CURATOR
Ellen Pavey & Nastassja Simensky
AHA NETWORK UCL
ARTIST AND 2022 RESIDENT
This year the project will take place in the Province of Cosenza for the first time, to engage with the history of the Archaeological Park of Sibari. This area of the Calabrian territory, topographically known as Sibaritide, saw the rise, expansion and decline of the great polis of Sybaris. Following the destruction of the Greek city, the Classical center of Thurii and the Roman city of Copia were founded, partially overlapping its ruins. This exceptional stratification makes Sibari one of the largest and most important sites in the Mediterranean up until the Roman Age.
The Park includes:
- the Sibaritide National Archaeological Museum
- the Horse Park Archaeological Area
- the Amendolara National Archaeological Museum
At the end of the VIII century BC, a group of Achaeans occupied the fertile plain between the rivers Kratos and Sybaris and founded a city named Sybaris, after the river. Here, the settlers discovered a cosmopolitan environment hosting the exchanges of multiple Mediterranean populations. They settled peacefully and contributed to the establishment of a commercial network that fostered the city’s wealth and expansion. Sybaris prospered, occupied the entire plain and became the center of commercial and cultural routes linking distant places in the Mediterranean and Italy. Strong and stable alliances connected the new colony to twenty-five peoples and four different cities, covering an area touching on both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts via the internal Apennine roads. The two extremes of “the empire of Sibari” were Poseidonia (Paestum) on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Metaponto on the Ionian Sea, both founded by Sibari. It became one of the richest and most powerful cities of Magna Graecia and, after having defeated and conquered the rival Siris (Policoro), counted over 300,000 inhabitants and perimeter of walls of about 9 kilometers. However, wealth and opulence increased the moral and military weakness of the Sybarites, who got defeated in 510 BC by the Crotonians who, it is said, diverted the banks of the Crati river to submerge the city. In 444 BC the forces of Pericles founded in the same area the Panhellenic colony of Thurii. The urban layout of the new center is attributed to Ippodamo di Mileto known as the first architect to have applied planimetric schemes to city planning. Ancient sources claim that even historian Herodotus briefly lived in Thurii in this period. In Roman times, the city was partly incorporated by the colony of Copiae, to be abandoned in the VII century AD due to rising groundwater.
Aiming at weaving new connections between the past and present of the site and its ongoing excavations, the In-ruins curatorial team - in concert with the Management of the Archaeological Park of Sibari - proposes to explore the contemporary topicality of the stories it preserves by inviting national and international artists to present projects (research or production-based) inspired by the following research axes:
1. CONTACT ZONE
Upon their arrival on the Ionian shores, the Achaean settlers discovered a cosmopolitan environment hosting the exchanges between numerous Mediterranean populations. Sibari tells the story of the Mediterranean Sea as a contact zone, nurturing the intrinsically nomadic and traveling nature of men. The site embodies an idea of culture that does not meet the paradigms of stability and fixed identity on which both nationalist rhetorics and xenophobic theories are based. The Park is proof that places are not immune to the transit of people and time, as well as of the movement of ideas and material cultures. Proof of the anthropological constant of the unarrestable transformation of same places through different peoples, Sibari invites you to unearth traces of a cosmopolitan and shared Mediterranean, able to decentralize and erode hegemonic, universalist and univocal narratives.
2. LA DOLCE VITA
At the time of its maximum expansion, Sibari had a perimeter of over 9 km, more than 300,000 inhabitants and was considered the capital of tryphé, “sweet life”, and hybris, “hubris”. It is reported that the city used to organize “cuisine olympics” to discover new recipes and tastes. However, the extreme wealth and opulence increased its political and military weakness until the defeat at the hands of the Crotonians. It is no coincidence that the link of the ancient city to the luxury and vices leading to its destruction remained imprinted in our vocabulary: sybaritic, adj: worthy of a sybarite and, by extension, exaggeratedly refined, soft or lascivious; sybaritically, adv: in the manner of the sybarites, with excessive refinement and softness: eg. live sybaritically. Millennia later, “la dolce vita” has become a brand of the Italian lifestyle in the world; while sybaritic can certainly be described the last twenty years of Western global hegemony - roughly spanning the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 2010s - and characterized by an extreme and geo-localized prosperity in the US and Europe accompanied by systematic failures in the fields of foreign policy, international diplomacy and human rights. Also thinking of the default of cities like Detroit, the unbreathable air of hyper-productive megalopolis like New Delhi, the exorbitant costs of places like Milan and New York, the story of Sibari encourages us to interpret the end of an empire as a creative, moral and political opportunity.
3. TO FREE THE LANDSCAPE
With Pericles’ military intervention the Panhellenic colony of Thurii was erected in the same area where once Sybaris existed. The new city did not overlap perfectly on the remains of the ancient Sybari: the urban layout with orthogonal streets of the new center is in fact attributed to Ippodamo di Mileto, known as the first architect to have used and theorized regular planimetric schemes in city planning. His approach adapted to the orography of the territory, so as to identify the best natural locations where to erect temples, altars, theaters and markets. Ippodamo’s approach to urban planning seems particularly relevant when considering the present state of the Calabrian landscape, punctured by thousands of uncoordinated and often uncompleted building investments. This opens critical spaces to conceive of the archaeological site as a privileged vantage point from which to document, explore and rethink the surrounding urban and natural landscape.
4. FAIRY TALES, HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Anecdotes and short stories are attributed to the inhabitants of Sybaris. These tales came to constitute the body of the so-called sybaritic fable, one of the three archaic fable genres - together with the Aesopic and the Lydian-Phrygian - which distinguished itself by the exclusive use of men and not animals as characters. The logoi sybaritikoi as reported by ancient historians such as Athenaeus are short literary compositions with a markedly humorous and brilliant vein, which the Sybarites loved to narrate during their opulent banquets and in their frequent moments of rest, also voting for the funniest. The plots of these frivolous and cheeky stories were the Sybarites themselves grappling with eccentric misadventures triggered by the libertine lifestyle of the city. Perhaps exported by the playwright Epicharmos, the genre gained great success in Greece through the work of authors such as Aristophanes. This narrative specificity of the ancient Sybaris seems particularly fertile for researchers animated by an interest in folk and traditions linked to cynicism and irony; or, on the contrary, exploring post-human, zoo-centric, zoe-centric approaches.
5. ECOLOGY OF RUINS
In Roman times, Thurii was partially incorporated by the colony of Copiae to then be definitively abandoned in the 7th century AD due to rising groundwater. Still today the Horse Park Archaeological Area is crossed by a drainage system consisting of hundreds of meters of pipes. Climate change and the rise in sea levels can only further compromise this scenario, shared by still inhabited centers such as Venice and Taranto. Cities of ancient and modern foundation share the present risk of disappearance and evoke mythical tales of disappeared, and now invisible civilizations.
6. AMENDOLARA MUSEUM: ARCHEOLOGY AS INDIVIDUAL EXPLORATION
The National Archaeological Museum of Amendolara, located about 30 km north-east of the archaeological area of Sibari-Thurii-Copia and the Sibaritide Museum, is located in the heart of the homonymous village in the Province of Cosenza. The collection includes the finds donated to the Italian State by Vincenzo Laviola, a doctor of Amendolara, who carried out archaeological research throughout his life. Engaged in the preservation and custody of the historical and archaeological heritage of his land, Laviola’s story leads us to reflect on the interdisciplinary qualities implicit to archaeological research, conceived not only as a process of reconstruction of genealogies and origins, but also as a poetic and individual experience.
in collaborazione con | in collaboration with
in collaboration with
co-finanziato da | co-funded by
con il supporto di | with the support of
HOW TO APPLY / deadline expired
Applications must be submitted by filling a Google Form available via the following link.
Please send a single PDF file (max 10 mb) containing:
- CV (max 3 pages)
- PORTFOLIO (min 5 - max 20 images of previous projects or research)
- RESIDENCY PROJECT PROPOSAL (500 words max + accompanying images/sketches if neeed)
Please note that the project proposal is tentative and can be edited and transformed over the residency.
If you are already aware of materials required for your practice, please do mention these in the application.
The PDF must be titled in capital letters as follows: SURNAME_NAME_INRUINS2023
If you encounter any issues with the submission of your application do not hesitate to contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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