On the occasion of the European Days of Jewish Culture we kindly invite you to the events organised by the Judaica Research Centre at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania in partnership with the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History. This year the theme for the European Days of Jewish Culture is Memory. Visiting from Italy Professor Adachiara Zevi will speak on the relationship between memory and art, architecture and monuments.
On September 5th at 6 pm prof. Adachiara Zevi will speak with prof. Giedrė Jankevičienė in a talk titled Art in Memory. Dialogue between archeology and contemporary art at the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History. The talk will be held in English.
In 1961, during the construction of the Fiumicino Highway, one of the oldest synagogues in the world, the Ostia Synagogue, built in the first centuries AD, was excavated. The remains of the synagogue have been the site of the “Arte in memoria” (Art in Memory) contemporary art biennale since 2002. It is curated by prof. Adachiara Zevi. Famous artists are invited to reimagine the relationship to memory and to create works in connection to this particular place. These works are later displayed at the ruins of the synagogue, some of them remain there, and so an archaeological site becomes an open-air museum for contemporary art.
This talk will reveal how a dialogue between archaeology and contemporary art takes place, how the purpose of the synagogue is revived even though the synagogue itself is gone. Memory is not merely oriented at the past, it is not fossilised into the shape of a monument or of a repeating ritual. And art is exactly what facilitates a connection between contemporary people, memory, past and culture.
The topic of memory is exceptionally necessary this September as we are commemorating the 80th anniversary of the uprising and liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto.
Born in a famous Italian Jewish family Adachiara Zevi is an architect and art historian, president of the cultural association "Art in Memory" and of the Bruno Zevi foundation, established in order to promote and spread the historical and cultural heritage of her father’s life and work, and Professor at the Macerata, Florence, Bologna, Milano, Palermo and Napoli art academies.
Prof. Dr. Giedrė Jankevičiūtė is an Art Historian, exhibition curator, senior researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, Professor at the Vilnius Academy of Art. The professor is actively involved in Jewish heritage studies and memorialisation. On her initiative, five commemorative stones dedicated to Jewish artists were unveiled in Vilnius.