Piazza Duomo Ortygia, Syracusa

Residency / Workshop   28 Dec. – 08 Jan. 2018

#1 Piazza Duomo Ortygia, Siracusa, Sicily

Since 1500 B.C., Sicily has seen a multitude of different cultures and populations, evidence of which can be seen in its architecture. Once a powerful colony of Magna Graecia, the island subsequently witnessed the various styles of its dominations from the Roman Empire to the Arabs and Normans, all leaving a range of styles from Greek and Roman to the baroque and 19th and 20th century architecture. The magnificent remains of ancient architecture in Sicily testify to the important role the island held in antiquity thanks to its strategic position in the Mediterranean and to its thriving agriculture. Home to Normans, Greeks, Arabs, Germans and Jews, it was for centuries a crossroads of cultures and religions. The epitome of diversity.

More than any other city, Syracuse encapsulates Sicily’s timeless beauty. Ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards, cafe tables spill onto dazzling baroque piazzas, and honey-hued medieval lanes lead down to the sparkling blue sea. In its heyday this was the largest city in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens and Corinth. Its ‘Once upon a Time’ begins in 734 BC, when Corinthian colonists landed on the island of Ortygia and founded the settlement, setting up the mainland city four years later. Almost three millennia later, the ruins of that then-new city constitute the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, one of Sicily‘s greatest archaeological sites. Across the water from the mainland, Ortygia remains the city’s most beautiful corner, a casually chic, eclectic marvel.

The magnificent Island of Ortygia constitutes the oldest part of Syracuse. Visitors can discover its ancient history and its legendary Greek past just by walking it.

The Sicilian Baroque was born after the major crisis of the 1693 earthquake that destroyed many Sicilian towns and killed more than 60,000 people marking the beginning of a new era.

Sicily holds important role in history thanks to its strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea and currently holds a for many refugees & immigrants from the Near East and Africa trying to reach its shores with a hope of survival and dreams of a new life.

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‘Sicilian Contemporary Baroque” Site Specific Installation between Art & Architecture is a project based on the historical late Sicilian Baroque architecture & details as inspiration to create ephemeral forms that combine contemporary narratives to a historical site based in the center of Ortygia; our intent is to transform a Historical site into a Transitory Dreamful Space that address the global crisis of the forces of mass migration.

We will collaborate with ‘Accademia di Belle Arti Rosario Gagliardi’ a local institution in Syracuse, the first of its kind in Italy that works at the intersection of design, art, craft, and local cultural traditions. Our studio is at the ‘Accademia di Belle Arti Rosario Gagliardi’ and for our final installation we have a city site in the complex of ‘Convento del Ritiro’ (former cloister convent). We will also take a field trip to Noto, which is one of the eight cities of the Noto Valley and declared a World Heritage Site for the richness and prestige of its architecture, and considered among the highest expressions of 18th-Century, late Baroque in Europe. Valorizzazione Culturale is a company which specialized in the management of historical buildings, working across the entire territory of Italy and more here