Rome Contemporary

The research initiative Rome Contemporary launched by Department II suggests re-evaluating the important contribution of the Roman art scene to the history of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Challenging the common assumption that the city lost its far-reaching importance in the art field since the end of the Ancien Régime, this initiative invites to verify the implicit hierarchies which have been shaping the historiography of modern and contemporary art in the west.

Artistic and cultural productions of visual art, theater, film and architecture emerging in Rome will be examined taking into account their interdependence with international debates. Identifying the respective framework of reference of these productions helps clarifying the relationship between the Roman artistic and cultural scene and its time. In so doing, Rome Contemporary takes a stand against the modern and contemporary topoi of deterritorialization. Contradicting the historiographical trend towards uniformization reinforced by the rise of global perspectives, the initiative aims at emphasizing, along with the historical and spatial situatedness of its objects, the heteronomous character of artistic and cultural idioms. The objective is, first, to establish the urban fabric – a distinctive palimpsest of accumulated history – as a coordinate system; secondly, to recognize the city’s social, political, cultural and institutional conditions as factors of art-historical dynamics; thirdly, to reconstruct its grounding networks and thought collectives.

In the framework of the initiative, a wide range of topics may be tackled, including artistic practices, practices of exhibiting, art criticism and publishing; art collectives and collaborations; public and private collections; the art market; history of institutions; history of the fascist regime and its memory; history and effects of colonialism, wars and migrations; urbanism and public space; terrorism; Italian theory; feminism; ecology; the shift from Fordism to Post-Fordism and the impact of globalization on art production; concepts and methods of historization.
With its focus on the contemporary dimension of the Roman art scene in the twentieth and twenty-first century, Rome Contemporary serves as a research hub, connecting local and international perspectives on the city through the following formats:

- a scientific program which, in addition to the individual projects of the involved researchers, also includes presentations, workshops and reading groups as well as seminars at the institute and in situ;
- a digital initiative to be developed in collaboration with the University of Zurich, which will archive and provide, according to the latest standards, hitherto unexplored or endangered text-, image-, sound- and video-materials.
- a program of artistic interventions, which contextualizes and reinterprets the premises and collections of the institute in a transdisciplinary way.

Rome Contemporary

Prof. Dr. Tristan Weddigen

Collaboratori scientifici:
Maria Bremer, PhD
(Minerva Fast Track Fellow)

Dr. Giorgia Gastaldon
(Borsista post-doc)

Marica Antonucci, M.A.


Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz_Città Meticcia
Field Seminar mit Giorgio de Finis und Carlo Gori
Rom, Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove (MAAM)
10. Februar 2018

Speaking Bodies. Recoding Language in Women's Art Practices  ̶  From Present to Postwar Italy
Rom, Bibliotheca Hertziana
5. April 2018

Time is Out of Joint
Field Seminar mit Marcella Cossu
Rom, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
7. April 2018

Memorie del fascismo nell’arte contemporanea a Roma: Fabio Mauri e Giosetta Fioroni intorno al 1970
Research Seminar mit Laura Iamurri
Rom, Bibliotheca Hertziana
23. Mai 2018

Precedenti membri del gruppo

Borsista post-doc
Dr. Carmen Belmonte

Daphne Jung, M.A.