The beauties offered by the village of Squillace, praised by Virgil in the Aeneid and a real jewel of the province of Catanzaro, have become home and workshop for five artists who for 15 days have been inspired by the archaeological heritage of the place, revisiting and interpreting it in works of contemporary art.
This is In-ruins, an artistic residency project which, after the success of last year’s first edition held in the Scolacium Archaeological Park, this year proposed the same format but in Squillace.
Here, the Norman Castle, built in 1044 on the ruins of the ancient monastery of Cassiodorus, Palazzo Pepe, one of the finest examples of noble architecture in the area, and the Gothic Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, dating back to the Swabian period, were transformed into spaces for living together, sharing and creating.
The aim of the project – from which the name In-ruins derives – is to invite artists from different countries to reflect on what it means to act among the ruins, giving them new life with artistic interventions and installations.
Thus Israel’s Itamar Gov, Spain’s Anna III, England’s Alrai, Poland’s Martyna Benedyka and the Italian duo Ceresoli Cosco have worked on different site-specific projects creating a dialogue between contemporary art and archaeological heritage.
For his work entitled The Mausoleum of Rejected Citrons, Itamar Gov started from the practice of selecting the best cedar by the rabbis who come to Santa Maria del Cedro (CZ) every September, while giving space to all those “imperfect” cedars that have not been selected.
With Noli Me Tangere Anna III created a textile reinterpretation of the monumental windows of the Norman Castle of Squillace; while Emii Alrai was inspired by the flora surrounding the castle and then worked on ceramics using the ancient Byzantine technique of engobe graffito.
Martyna Benedyka’s artistic research began with a thousand-year-old chant dating back to 1151 and gave life to a work of archaeoacoustics, a discipline that combines archaeology, ethnomusicology, acoustics and digital modelling. Finally, the Italian duo Ceresoli Cosco produced a series of terracottas, ceramics, casting moulds and ephemeral interventions designed for the castle’s interior. To further emphasise the link with the site, clay from an ancient pond near the archaeological site was used.