CENCI, gallery opening reception

Cenci was executed by the students at the RISD European Honors Program between March 14 and March 25, 2017, in Rome.   The project developed out of  workshops in Sound/Voice, Costuming/Design, and Video/Post Production lead by Resident Fellow Heather Freedman and Chief Critic Angela Dufresne along with invited collaborations. The initial prompt was written by Jennifer McCoy who through her text investigated the dueling histories of the Cenci tragedy now superimposed by the buildings current incarnation as an art school central to the grand tourissmo of Rome. In Jennifer’s interpretation today’s Beatrice Cenci might currently be embodied as a music promotor and adhoc art school matriarch, somewhere between Francesca Woodman (who was an EHP Student), Ann Magneson and Suzy Sioux.  The studios, the communal nature of the beaux arts climate of the Cenci, and its generative history are in stark contrast with the dark past of the Cenci familiar drama.  The script negotiates a similar tale of patriarchal conflict with a contemporaneous, equally villainous Francesco Cenci.   The students took great liberties with the prompt during workshopping, choosing to focus less on the narrative and more on the process of critical lamination through the use period barque music by Henry Purcell and libretto by Nahum Tate of Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas.  The Lament served as the sole melodic inspiration  and emotional axis for the work.  The concept was to tie the Cenci narrative into the Rome founding myths and the operatic nature of the story.  The Palazetto Cenci building is paramount to the exploration of this history in the flesh.  The mission was to explore the inquiry at the heart of the mission of the European Honors Program: To what degree does the past occupy the present?  How can one use performance as a way to develop out of a localized notion of ‘self’? By physically superimposing past and present the project strives to transform and incorporate what is past and foreign into the imaginations of participants and viewers, to heal wounds, to replace what has been lost, to re-create broken molds through what Nietzsche termed the plasticity— that material force— of becoming.    This exhibition Cenci consists of video, ephemera and artworks that were born directly or indirectly from the collaboration. Visiting artists collaborators for the project were:   Sound/Voice-Juliana Snapper, Coloratura-in exilio. Snapper is an internationally recognized contemporary opera singer, recitalist, live performance artist, experimental theater director and voice scholar. She is best known for original techniques developed to extend the sonic and expressive palate of the operatic voice in situ.  Costuming/Design- Heather Freedman- Resident Fellow, Illustrator, Designer, Costumer for projects for William Kentridge, the Kitchen, Abrons Center among others, she is  currently a graduate student at NYU for theatrical design.  Video/Post Production- Marco Ferrari and Angela Dufresne.  Ferrari is a founding member of Creative Asylum, a consortium of Chicago based artists. He currently balances his art-making studio practice as a Lecturer of Media Studies at John Cabot University (Rome, Italy) and Franklin University Switzerland, freelancing as a cinematographer, VJ, and managing Ferrari Studios, a collaborative studio space in Chicago and Guardistallo, Italy, shared between himself and his father.   Performance Advising- Gillian Chadsey who is a performer, transformer, author, interpreter, and producer  As an actor, her work has run the gamut from Butoh dance to Tennessee Williams from Michlowice, Poland to middle America repertory theater, among many others.   Roman Collaborator, Performer and Poet- Donatella Mei.  Donatella Mei, actress, author and cultural organizer, lives and works in Rome.  Since 2000 she has been performing performative cabaret and poetry. The Contemporaneous Francesco Cenci Geoff Chadsey, is an artist whose drawings are surreal portraits of men hovering in states of undress, with multiple limbs and visages or form of self-presentation. He is also a photo editor, producing photography for a medical journal, on such subjects as transgender identity in children, and medical researchers who experiment on themselves. Jennifer and Kevin McCoy wrote the script prompt.  Based in New York, they are a collaborative video, performance, sculpture and installation duo who work particularly on site specific performance for video.  Very Special thanks to Ezio Genovesi, EHP Director, Father, Husband, Art Historian, (not necessarily in that order) for his advising, fearless support, insight, brilliant wit and endless generosity. This project was made possible by a Turner Theatrical and Performance Design FCenci was executed by the students at the RISD European Honors Program between March 14 and March 25, 2017, in Rome.   The project developed out of  workshops in Sound/Voice, Costuming/Design, and Video/Post Production lead by Resident Fellow Heather Freedman and Chief Critic Angela Dufresne along with invited collaborations. The initial prompt was written by Jennifer McCoy who through her text investigated the dueling histories of the Cenci tragedy now superimposed by the buildings current incarnation as an art school central to the grand tourissmo of Rome. In Jennifer’s interpretation today’s Beatrice Cenci might currently be embodied as a music promotor and adhoc art school matriarch, somewhere between Francesca Woodman (who was an EHP Student), Ann Magneson and Suzy Sioux.  The studios, the communal nature of the beaux arts climate of the Cenci, and its generative history are in stark contrast with the dark past of the Cenci familiar drama.  The script negotiates a similar tale of patriarchal conflict with a contemporaneous, equally villainous Francesco Cenci.   The students took great liberties with the prompt during workshopping, choosing to focus less on the narrative and more on the process of critical lamination through the use period barque music by Henry Purcell and libretto by Nahum Tate of Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas.  The Lament served as the sole melodic inspiration  and emotional axis for the work.  The concept was to tie the Cenci narrative into the Rome founding myths and the operatic nature of the story.  The Palazetto Cenci building is paramount to the exploration of this history in the flesh.  The mission was to explore the inquiry at the heart of the mission of the European Honors Program: To what degree does the past occupy the present?  How can one use performance as a way to develop out of a localized notion of ‘self’? By physically superimposing past and present the project strives to transform and incorporate what is past and foreign into the imaginations of participants and viewers, to heal wounds, to replace what has been lost, to re-create broken molds through what Nietzsche termed the plasticity— that material force— of becoming.   

Thursday, September 14 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Memorial Hall, 300
226 Benefit Street, Providence, RI

Event Type

Exhibition, Opening or Reception

Departments

Painting

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