Nothing is more memorable than a smell, sensory information capable of withstanding time like no other and to affect more, sometimes enigmatically, on our unconscious. From this awareness and a reflection on the loss of smell, by many experienced in the pandemic period, born FOROF ESSENCE, a Special Season promoted by FOROF – a space dedicated to the dialogue between contemporary art and archaeology inaugurated in 2022 by Giovanna Caruso Fendi - that, from 5 May to 15 July 2023, through a cultural experimentation "who aspires to freedom", connects the art of creating perfumes, the history of Ancient Rome and Contemporary Art.


“FOROF rises in an archaeological context of inestimable historical value, the archaeolgical ramains of the Basilica Ulpia, which in the second century A.D. was the place where, by the authentic instrument of manumissio, slaves could regain their freedom. – Giovanna Caruso Fendi, founder of FOROF, says – The inspiration of the project FOROF ESSENZA comes from the desire to reproduce the olfactory memory of a place, to celebrate the value of Freedom, to celebrate the value of Freedom.


For FOROF ESSENZA, the patron and entrepreneur Giovanna Caruso Fendi invited Laura Bosetti Tonatto, among the most renowned noses in the industry, to transform into fragrance the history of the Basilica Ulpia; the essence, with its olfactory notes of rose, amber, suffron and incense, wants to restore the spirit of a place, becoming a cultural and social story of the universal value of Freedom, source of inspiration for the whole project.


Friday, May 5th 2023, FOROF launches a multi-disciplinary program of FOROF ESSENZA, with details on the history of the Basilica Ulpia the projection of the docufilm realized by the journalist and author Andrea Purgatori, directed by Lorenzo Scurati, dedicated to Emperor Trajan and the story of the manumissio, and the olfactory path set up in the archaeological area that tells the itinerary that has led Laura Bosetti Tonatto to create the fragrance.


During the months of May and June will also be presented two Special Episodes that will see protagonists the artists Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo (l’Avana, 1984) and Silvia Giambrone (Agrigento, 1981), with two performances related to the ethical and social value of Freedom. The works, which will flow from the Episodes, will be exhibited in space until 15 July 2023.


The journey through the spaces of FOROF was conceived as an engaging sensory journey: starting from a section dedicated to historical illustrations that tell the act of and the Basilica Ulpia, and continuing in the space dedicated to the performances of the Special Episodes, you reach the archaeological area through a staircase, where the young artist Janneke Leenders (Roermond - Netherlands 2003), student of RUFA - Rome University of Fine Arts, has carried out a site-specific intervention that sees on each of the 25 steps a different translation of the word freedom.


In the archaeological area an olfactory path leads the public to the discovery of the essence through the four creative steps that make up the fragrance:, a holistic experience experienced first-hand by the visitor that will "aspire" FOROF ESSENCE, wrapped in the projections in loop docufilm by Andrea Purgatori.


The artistic-cultural program then continues with the two Special Episodes: Wednesday, May 10th the Cuban artist Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo presents the performance Abriendo Pasos/Opening paths curated by Veronica Siciliani Fendi. The artist, 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 our life.


Thursday, June 15th instead, the Italian artist Silvia Giambrone, is the protagonist of the Second Episode, called “The Meeting” curated by Paola Ugolini . The artist whose work explores the policies and practices of the body, the most subtle forms of subjection, plays in a reading performance of the book Il libro dell’incontro. Vittime e responsabili della lotta armata a confronto curated by Guido Bertagna, Adolfo Ceretti e Claudia Mazzucato (2015), in an attempt to understand, through redemption and dialogue, the elaboration of mourning, the right to life, freedom and justice.


Accompanying the performative experiences of the two artists exhibitions, designed to establish an ideal link between present and historical memory.


A Special Season that connects the History of Rome and contemporary art to a fragrance dedicated to the Freedom.


With Laura Bosetti Tonatto and with the partecipation of Andrea Purgatori, Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo and Silvia Giambrone.


From May 5th to July 15th 2023


FOROF creates through art a path that aspires to the essence of freedom - Giovanna Caruso Fendi