FOROF Episodes are a program of cultural and artistic experiences of relational, participatory, and multidisciplinary nature, which activate the multifunctional space with performance events, readings, talks, musical interventions and much more.
The objective is to bring the public closer to contemporary art on a stage where the role of the spectator is flexible and intertwined with that of the performer, encouraging the exchange and understanding of different creative forms and artistic languages.
The programming of the FOROF Episodes - which end with a food and wine journey together with the artists curated by Rimessa Roscioli - fits into the context of the cultural and artistic life of the city through a project with an experimental and innovative vocation.
By booking and purchasing tickets on our website, the public can participate in an exclusive and immersive event that delves into the themes of the ongoing site-specific exhibition.
While choosing the programming of the Episodes FOROF is supported by a prestigious curatorial team.
(Public use and enjoyment of archaeological finds).
Lithuanian artist and main character of the Third Season of FOROF, a project that reflects on both conservation and global warming, inaugurates the first of five Episodes with a participatory workshop for adults.
* the workshop will be held in English
Until June 30th, 2024 FOROF – project founded by Giovanna Caruso Fendi and dedicated to the dialogue between contemporary art and archaeology – hosts BALTIC ADVENTURE with the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Rome. This exhibition by Lithuanian artist Augustas Serapinas is an acute and poetic reflection on the effects of climatic instability and the need to act as responsible citizens.
This Third cultural Season of FOROF will also be revived, for the rest of its duration, by a program of Episodes conceived and produced by the curator of the exhibition, Ilaria Gianni, and inspired by the artist’s work.
Tuesday, December 5th, from 19:00 to 21:00, FOROF will then host Mudballs: Hands-on Experience with Augustas Serapinas, the first of five meetings, during which the themes dealt with by the exhibition will be faced in more depth and reinterpreted live by a number of guest artists.
In this first Episode, after a guided tour of the exhibition with the curator and the artist, the public is involved in a collaborative work in order to explore the world of Mudmen, figures that are similar to snowmen made by Serapinas with hay and mud, who re-inhabit the archaeological site of Basilica Ulpia, already head of Roman civil life in the second century A.D.
Originally destined to be snowmen, Serapinas’ Mudmen became mud puppets when, in January 2020 in Riga, where the artist should have presented an exhibition, snow did not fall. The unusually warm weather conditions prevented the artist from gathering the necessary material, while also making him aware of the tangible manifestation of global warming.
During the workshop Mudballs: Hands-on Experience with Augustas Serapinas, the artist will guide the audience, using clay, mud, and hay, in the creation of their own version of snowballs transformed into mudballs, with the aim of provoking a reflection on craftsmanship, our lost relationship with Nature, and possible future scenarios.
The Episodes Program by FOROF, which includes another four meetings from January to June, will revive the space with musical, choreographic, and other artistic performances, which will convert the theme of the exhibition into different forms.
The conclusive Episode – with the aim of deepening the bond between history, knowledge, and critical perception, enacted by contemporary art interventions –will again be a workshop session that will take place in the afternoon. This time, however, it will be dedicated to a children’s audience. A DJ-set event will follow.
All Episodes will be accompanied by a food and wine selection curated by Rimessa Roscioli.
Thanks to APalazzo Gallery.
Punctuality is appreciated.
On Thursday 15 June, FOROF - a space dedicated to the dialogue between archaeology and contemporary art founded in Rome by Giovanna Caruso Fendi - presents L'incontro a reading by Silvia Giambrone (Agrigento, 1981), the second episode of FOROF ESSENZA, a Season that brings the art of perfume creation into dialogue with the history of Rome and contemporary art.
The reading and the exhibition in the hypogeum space, curated by Paola Ugolini, are possible declinations of the concept of Freedom, like the entire FOROF ESSENZA programme. A project that stems from the awareness that nothing is more memorable than a perfume, a smell, and from the consequent reflection on the loss of this sense, a condition experienced by many in the pandemic period. In collaboration with Laura Bosetti Tonatto, one of the most renowned noses in the industry, the story of the Basilica Ulpia, the place where, through the public act of manumissio, Roman slaves could regain their freedom, was transformed into essence.
On Thursday 15 June from 7 to 9 pm., artist Silvia Giambrone, whose work explores the politics and practices of the body with a particular focus on the most subterranean forms of subjugation, stages a symbolic action through the reading of excerpts from Il libro dell’Incontro. Vittime e responsabili della lotta armata a confronto by Guido Bertagna, Adolfo Ceretti, Claudia Mazzucato (Il Saggiatore, 2015).
In the evocative space of FOROF, the artist recounts the armed struggle of the 1970s through the touching and dramatic words of those who enacted it and those who were its victims. The artist, reading the testimonies of both ex-brigade members and victims' relatives, stages the choral path of encounter and dialogue, which lasted ten years, centred on the revolutionary concept of restorative justice, which considers the crime above all in terms of damage to people, thus foreseeing the obligation on the part of the perpetrator to remedy the consequences of his actions.
An idea of justice that is very different from the one that ends with the infliction of punishment, and to which we are accustomed, after all, as the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella also recalled on the occasion of the Memorial Day dedicated to the victims of terrorism: 'The democracy of our Republic is nourished by tolerance, patience, confrontation, respect. It is a road that appears long and arduous to some, but it is the only one of progress in coexistence. The only one capable of obtaining and maintaining over time peace, serenity, well-being and rights for all citizens."
Through her works, readings and performances, Silvia Giambrone invites viewers to reflect on the relationships and imbalances of power that poison human relations, as well as the violence generated by ideology. "My research investigates the political dimension of intimacỳ," says the artist, "becausé it is the ground where the most mysterious forces of each person take root."
"In recent years, neuroscience has highlighted how trauma has deleterious effects on the functioning of the mind, brain and body. - Curator Paola Ugolini writes - Abuse or trauma suffered in childhood causes irreparable damage to the victims' psyche, to the point of damaging their social functioning. (...) To date, in our country there has been no elaboration of the collective trauma relating to the long season of attacks and the armed struggle, which began on 12 December 1969 with the massacre carried out in the centre of Milan at the headquarters of the Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana.
Silvia Giambrone's reading also inaugurates an exhibition on the underground floor featuring the artist's works Cutlery, Mirror no. 24 and the video Traum, which will remain on display until 15 July 2023.
Give Words to Your Grief - Silvia Giambrone
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”
(William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, scene III)
The work of Silvia Giambrone (Agrigento, 1981) is part of the line of artistic practices of a political and militant matrix, especially in relation to the implications linked to the sphere of the domestic, towards which the patriarchal gaze seems to be blind. Through her works, readings and performances, the artist compels viewers to reflect on couple relationships and the power imbalances that poison human relations, as well as the violence generated by ideology and the distorted use of sex.
In recent years, neuroscience has particularly highlighted how trauma has deleterious effects on the functioning of the mind, brain and body. Abuse or trauma suffered in childhood causes irreparable damage in the psyche of victims, to the point of impairing their social functioning; trauma can be so profound and debilitating that it even affects the genes we pass on to our children. To this day, in our country there has been no elaboration of the collective trauma related to the long season of bombings and armed struggle, which began on 12 December 1969 with the massacre carried out in the centre of Milan at the headquarters of the Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana. Historians agree that this heinous terrorist act, carried out by subversive fringes of the extreme right, was the beginning of the period that went down in history as the 'anni di piombo', characterised by the so-called 'strategy of tension' and bloodstained by even more dramatic attacks such as the Piazza della Loggia in Brescia on 28 May 1974, The Italicus train on 4 August 1974 and the most heinous of all, carried out in the crowded second-class waiting room at Bologna Central Station on 2 August 1980. The highlight of the group's activity was the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, then president of the Christian Democrats, on 16 March 1978, in Via Mario Fani. With the kidnapping and finally the killing of Moro, who was trying to form a centre-left government in Italy for the first time, at that moment in history the Red Brigades seemed capable of decisively influencing the Italian political balance and of subverting the democratic order of the Republic. The organisation went into crisis in the early 1980s due to its irreversible isolation within Italian society, which condemned its actions; it was then progressively destroyed thanks to the growing capacity of the police to fight it, and also thanks to the promulgation of a law by the Italian state that granted substantial prison terms to members who revealed the identity of other terrorists. In 1987, Renato Curcio and Mario Moretti signed a document in which they declared the R.B. experience over.
The kidnapping and killing of Aldo Moro and his escort marked the high point of the Brigatist subversion and, at the same time, the beginning of the crisis; in fact, some terrorists opposed to Moro's killing and the subsequent blood campaign ended up abandoning the movement.
Silvia Giambrone, in Forof's space located on the remains of the Basilica Ulpia inside the Forum of Trajan, tells us about the armed struggle through the touching and dramatic words of both those who acted it and those who suffered it. Starting with a reading from “Il libro dell’incontro" the artist makes us witness of the encounter between victims and perpetrators of the armed struggle of the 1970s. Underlying the experience of this volume is the concept - this yes, revolutionary - of restorative justice (Reparative Justice): a legal approach that considers crime primarily in terms of harm to persons and thus provides for the obligation on the part of the perpetrator to remedy the harmful consequences of his or her conduct; in this sense, it becomes necessary to actively involve the victim, the agent and the civil community itself in the search for solutions to address the set of needs generated by the criminal act in question.
An idea of justice therefore very different from what we are used to, which is exhausted in inflicting punishment on the perpetrators. This seemingly impossible encounter between victims and perpetrators of the armed struggle in Italy in the 1970s is the possible key to enacting a radical change of perspective with which to look at the ghosts, nightmares and repressed of the "anni di piombo." As the authors write: "Within the great 'History,' the personal stories of those who chose the armed struggle and those who suffered its consequences express many other 'crucial nodes,' no less relevant for civil coexistence. The theme of justice unites the two dimensions, public and personal: it is predominantly around this problem, the demand for justice and the response to injustice, that the work narrated in these pages has centered [...] our purpose was, and still is, to make a journey together, we mediators 'in the middle' between people who had suffered a terrible evil and those who had caused that evil.
Restorative justice focuses on the practice of attentive listening, capable of putting "[ ...] aside the impulse to want to have everything clear and the temptation of judgment."
Restorative justice is the implementation of a process of re-humanization that opposes the dehumanization brought about by prison and can be seen as the implementation of the theories enunciated by Michel Foucault in his famous 1975 essay entitled "Surveilling and Punishing. Birth of the Prison" (Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison), in which the French philosopher challenged the concept of prison as a relevant form of punishment. According to the aims of restorative justice, it is possible to write new pages in the book of the relationship between victims and offenders; this is because the idea of "doing justice" cannot be solely a repressive instance aimed at the application of punishment and applied on the basis of the concept of a "just retribution" that is not only never just, but does not even benefit the victims. Mario Calabresi, son of a victim of terrorism, writes:
“The imprisonment of the convicted has given us nothing back; it has never been a consolation. It was the sentences that counted more, the state's commitment to seek the truth, to give justice. At home we have always felt annoyed when we were asked whether or not to give the green light to a release or a pardon, because we reject this medieval idea that a victim's relatives decide the fate of those held accountable. There are the codes, the courts, the Parliament, it is their responsibility to decide. These are not private matters. Justice is the responsibility of the state, not the families."
We also find the same principles in the words of Sabina Rossa, daughter of Guido, an Italsider worker and trade unionist murdered by the Red Brigades in Genoa on Jan. 24, 1979. After learning of yet another rejection of a probation petition filed by the competitors in her father's murder, Rossa wrote in a letter addressed to the court, "On our part there is the request to be respected and recognized as citizens more affected than others, and at the same time the desire to think and look at an idea of justice in terms of social recomposition, because the crimes that marked us affect the entire community, the entire society, the institutions”.
Restorative justice is the justice of encounter; armed struggle is a fact that must be told. Those who acted and suffered it must be able to tell their stories, so that they can communicate even the unspeakable and attempt to repair the evil done. In this regard, the words written by Giulia Borrelli, a Prima Linea leader and member of the commando that wounded Roman architect Sergio Lenci in the ambush of May 2, 1980, are illuminating; in the exchange of letters between Borrelli and Lenci, which took place between 1986 and 1987, we read: "During the period of my militancy in Prima Linea, when we decided to go and carry out an assassination attempt or even a murderous action, a reflection on the human level was far from us; every choice was justified by a "political" logic that, by insanely simplifying the contradictions of society, took away from people the richness of their personality and pinned everyone into a role.
It is also heavy for me to dig into memory, to lay bare the depths of inhumanity we have reached: but it is unfortunately true that we did not possess the idea from the intangibility of human life, and instead thought that there were lives that mattered, others that mattered less and others that did not matter at all [. ] so, the anguish of the pain caused, the sense of emptiness for having contributed by my actions to producing family dramas, tremendous and unjustifiable human lacerations, is a feeling that has resurfaced within me after a long parenthesis of clouding of consciousness; and now, I feel that I have to return very often with my thoughts to that period of clouding, to those dramas caused, in order not to remove, to keep the memory of my mistakes always alive. I feel that I am deeply affected by the suffering that some people, because of us, have suffered and continue to suffer."
Justice is a condition to be built together.
Rome, May 2023.
On Wednesday, May 10, FOROF - a space dedicated to the dialogue between archaeology and contemporary art founded in Rome by Giovanna Caruso Fendi - presents Abriendo paso/Opening paths the performance by Cuban artist Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo (L'Havana, 1984) part of FOROF ESSENZA, a Special Season that connects in an experimental way the art of perfume making, the history of Rome and contemporary art.
The performance, curated by Veronica Siciliani Fendi, is linked to the ethical and social value of Freedom as is the entire program of FOROF ESSENZA, a project born out of the realization that nothing is more memorable than a perfume and a reflection on the loss of the sense of smell experienced by many in the pandemic period. With the involvement of Laura Bosetti Tonatto, among the most renowned noses in the field, the history of the Basilica Ulpia, a place where, through the public act of manumissio, Roman slaves could regain their freedom, was transformed into essence by tying together the history of Rome, the olfactory memory of the place and Art.
Wednesday, May 10, the artist Susana Pilar, whose work focuses on body, gender, race and social issues, with a particular interest in the reality of women and discrimination against them, activates a symbolic action of rupture that emphasizes freedom as a necessary condition for life.
Abriendo pasos/Opening paths it's a performance conceived in dialogue with the architecture and energy of the place, the historical weight of which played a decisive role: the theme of the liberation of slaves, perfectly reflecting the artist's idea that her body is an archive of ancestors deported from Africa and Asia, and beyond. "This work is about freedom and obstacles. - Says the artist - It pushes us to be determined. To defend ourselves, no matter what happens. It talks about breaking fears and understanding that there will always be barriers that challenge your mind but that it's up to you how you stand in front of them."
The documentation video, as well as works born from the performance, preparatory watercolors and the artist's previous videos (Historias Negras, El Tanque and Resistencia), will be exhibited by FOROF until May 28, 2023 as part of the exhibition No necesitamos muros/We dont need walls.
First Episode of the Second Season of FOROF's artistic-cultural experiences, curated by artist Alex Cecchetti on the occasion of SORTILEGIO, the site-specific exhibition created for FOROF.
Danza sulla mia fronte amore invites us to a loving union between body, spirit and nature in the archaeological site of the Basilica Ulpia on FOROF’s hypogean floor.
On Friday 10 March 2023, from 19.00 to 21.00, with Danza sulla mia fronte amore the artist presents the first of two Episodes that will accompany the exhibition until its closure.
The performance features two dancers performing inside the archaeological area, accompanied not by music but simply by the sound of their breathing and heartbeats. The dancers will wear skirts tailored and decorated by the artist, inspired by those of the Revolving Dervishes. Over the course of the evening, they will perform several times, so that the entire audience can enjoy the experience.
FOROF’s pre-opening involves a performance by the English artist Florence Peake. She will reactivate FOROF's cultural space in anticipation of the second art season with "Alex Cecchetti's Sortilegio" in November 2022, a site-specific installation which will also initiate FOROF's new cycle of Episodes.
A "Special Episode" heralding the second season of cultural activities scheduled from November 2022 at FOROF. Interior Pull, featuring performers Vanshika Agrawal, Flaminia Celata and Anica Huck, is a collaborative performance created by Florence Peak exclusively for FOROF, interacting with the archaeological site of the Basilica Ulpia on the hypogean level.
Recalling a burial ritual, through a process of encasement Peake will enfold a body in clay and then extract it, leaving as evidence a "sculptural shell" that will be exhibited in the space with other works by the artist until October 8th and then taken to the Laboratorio Piramide to be kiln-fired.
The artist's sensory emotions experienced during the process will become vocal scores, which will be amplified in the room from within the clay sculpture.
The "extractive process" feature of the performance leads back to archaeological finds that are brought to light after long years of waiting, referring as well to the mining industries that are depleting the Earth's resources after having exploited them. The human body becomes a metaphor for the extracted resources.
Florence Peake's artwork explores notions of materiality and physicality, addressing current topics such as queer strategies and the issue of climate change. Her artistic approach is sensual and witty, expressive and rigorous, chaotic and intimate. Her performances, in which the human body always plays a central role, are radical and extravagant, often irreverent, frequently incorporating drawing, painting and sculpture, generating interaction between dancers, audiences and sites.
"This Special Episode, although unrelated to the programming of the new second season, is an opportunity to reaffirm the brave and free identity of our cultural space," explains Giovanna Caruso Fendi, FOROF’s founder. "Starting from archaeology as an artistic profusion of history and beauty for our contemporary cultural production, we work to protect, enhance and promote; the goal of the FOROF benefit society is to operate in this important sector in an innovative, transparent and original way."
In collaboration with Richard Saltoun Gallery of Rome
For Episode 5 of LOVOTIC-X, Soundwalk Collective invites musician, producer and singer Lotic to present a live performance inspired by her latest album Water. A tender meditation on love’s losses and lifeforce, timelines, bloodlines and resilience. The shift to a fluid. Meaning “of, relating to, or living in flowing water”, Lotic evokes the necessary element of maintaining life. The live performance awakens a post-anthropogenic earth where new creatures have adapted to live on a planet fully consumed underwater. Can our cells adapt to a foreign new ecosystem, thrive and multiply?
Inspired by the notion of interspecies as a proposal of alternative human-nonhuman scenarios, hybrid iterations, defying of borders, Soundwalk Collective invites Invernomuto to present Black Med, Chapter III: a listening session and live performance that rotates around an imaginary and expanded Mediterranean Sea as a reflection of a timeless and spaceless map of human geography.
The Mediterranean Sea, once understood as a fluid entity aiding the formation of networks and exchange, is now the scenario of a humanitarian crisis and heated geopolitical dispute.
Following scholar Alessandra Di Maio’s adaptation of the Black Atlantic theory to the Mediterranean, Black Med aims at intercepting the trajectories that sounds trace passing through this protean area. Divided into different chapters, the Black Med listening sessions are based on a DJ set supported by a series of projected slides containing theoretical texts and backstories referring to the musical pieces, grouped by elegiac themes. The sessions explore different journeys of sound movement, touching topics such as alternate uses of technology, migrations, peripheries and interspecies.
On the occasion of the Episode 4, as a part of LOVOTIC-X curated by Soundwalk Collective, Invernomuto presents at Forof the third chapter of the Black Med listening session serie: Black Med, Chapter III — premiered in 2018 at Manifesta 12, Palermo — which approaches the Mediterranean soundscape from a scientific point of view, combining field recordings and obscure, fluids experiments in electronic music.
"A statistical analysis of this non-existing word “LOVOTIC” results in a combination of the words of the English human language love, lover, loved, lovability, lovages, lovebug, lovesick, loveless, lovelocks, loveliest, lovemaking, or lovelornnesses; and asymtotic, antibiotic, enzootic, erotic, exotic, idiotic, neurotic, hypnotic, monozygotic, narcotic, patriotic, pyschotic, quixotic, robotic, semiotic, symbiotic, or zygotic (…)"
from a text by Paul B Preciado
Fantasies of the Sea is an immersive journey that invites the viewer to investigate its existence on Earth and its relationship with the Sea. Consisting of a video projection, a ceramic sculpture and a performance, the guided tour tells the story of an aquatic mythology, a pelagic birth, which gives birth to a hybrid, genderless creature. Agnes Questionmark (Agnes?) will show herself inside a vertical aquarium in the meanders of the Basilica Ulpia, taking the form of a fluid being like water itself, which has preserved the archaeological site until today.
A retrospective of sexual evolution from fungi to robots
A lecture by Thomas Doxiadis - doxiadis+ explaining their study of fungi, ranging from the Entangled Kingdoms project shown in the Venice Biennale to their research on the evolution of life and sexuality in fungi, and vice versa.
Although at first, the impression is that fungi are simple life forms, in reality, they have high diversity and usually entail confusing reproduction systems, dynamic metabolism, adaptability, and behavioural strategies.
It’s a glimpse in what we call the tree of life and its intricate relationships.
This presentation offers an insight into the great significance of fungi and their pivotal role in life formation and sustainability.