Between museum visits to the Reina Sofia and Museo del Prado, IDSVA students were given a warm welcome and an insider's tour of the impressive Circulo de Bellas Artes by the director, Valerio Rocco Lozano. In addition to the tour, students attended a lecture on Hegel and Habermas by Andrew Buchwalter (from UNF and the Hegel Society of America) and an operatic recital by soprano Maria Pia Piscitelli.
Our inaugural Marrakech residency was a huge success! Students visited the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Medersa Ben Yousef, Museé Yves Saint Laurent, Jardin Majorelle, Berber Museum, Palais el Badii, Tiskiwin Museum, and Le Jardin Secret. The residency was punctuated with a breathtaking trip to the historic and enchanting Tinmal Mosque in the Atlas mountains. Core faculty Dejan Lukic discussed assigned readings ranging from Eugène Delacroix’s impressions of North Africa to Edward Said’s seminal essay on Orientalism, while visiting faculty Ilham Ibnouzahir lectured on medieval Islamic civilization and philosophy.
A walking tour of Paris with Professor Howard Caygill connected the morning lectures with the afternoon museum visits. Caygill lectured on Kant, Hegel, Rilke, Walter Benjamin and Surrealism. Professor Giovanbattista Tusa joined the group for a two-day lecture and discussion on the Anthropocene. Sites visited included Musée de l'Orangerie, Musée Rodin, Musée d'Orsay, the historical Paris Arcades, Museé National Picasso, The Centre Pompidou, and Musée du Quai Branly.
Art historian and gallery director Shara Wasserman of Temple University in Rome walked the first and second-year students through key archaeological sites of the ancient city (Roman Forum, Palatino, Pantheon), significant medieval and Baroque churches, intertextualized with the modern and contemporary city and its rich artistic life, through art galleries and street art tours. The days were long, exhausting, and enriching!
At the Spannocchia residency, an agrarian estate in the Tuscan countryside, first-year students gave presentations based on readings from Art in Theory 1900-2000. IDSVA founding president George Smith gave a lecture on Plato’s Republic and its contemporary implications for the artist-philosopher; IDSVA Director Simonetta Moro introduced her work on mapping and poetic cartography; and Post-Doc Fellow Jason Hoelscher lectured on Art as Information Ecology. Visiting faculty Professor David Webb (Staffordshire University, UK) lectured on Michel Serres and Lucretius. Students visited the Uffizi in Florence, and the Santa Maria della Scala complex and the Cathedral in Siena, where artist Franca Marini gave a walking tour of the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the medieval city.
While the sprawling Venice Biennale is the primary focus of this residency, students also visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Prada Foundation, Palazzo Grassi, and Punta della Dogana. The Fondazione Giorgio Cini, an internationally recognized cultural institution and library, provided support and accommodations for our second-year students on the tranquil island of San Giorgio. Students received a guided tour of the monumental complex and libraries of the Foundation from the Director of the Centro Vittore Branca, Marta Zoppetti. A lecture by Professor Egidio Ivetic, Director of the Institute for the History of the Venetian State and Society, focused on the rich history of commerce between Venice and the East.