Art, Memory, Place: Ancient and Contemporary Art in the Synagogues. A conversation with Adachiara Zevi and Ittai Weinryb


December 04, 2023, 6:00 PM

General Admission: $15, Members & Students: FREE


Join us for an engaging exploration of the intersection of art, memory, and place in the context of synagogues throughout history. For centuries, synagogues have served as places of worship but also as focal points for communal and intellectual life. As such, their spaces have attracted the interest and intervention of artists. This conversation will delve into the relationship between synagogues and artistic expression, examining cases from different periods and geographical locations. The dialogue will traverse various artistic projects developed at synagogue sites worldwide, spanning from early historic examples to contemporary, site-specific installations. Professors Zevi and Weinryb will specifically highlight notable projects, including Corrado Cagli’s Memorial on the Square of the Old Synagogue in Göttingen, Germany, and the contemporary art initiative Arte in Memoria—a biennial art exhibition situated at the Synagogue in the archaeological park of Ostia Antica, Italy.

The conversation will highlight how artists have contributed new interpretations and readings of synagogue spaces, how their projects have brought new life into historical sites, and the significance of contemporary installations that offer fresh perspectives on the role of synagogues in the modern world. The event will also offer the opportunity to learn about the volume La Sinagoga di Ostia Antica: 60 anni dalla scoperta, 20 anni di Arte in Memoria, which examines the history of the oldest synagogue in Europe and its relationship with contemporary art.


About Adachiara Zevi. Architect, art historian, and professor of Art History, Adachiara Zevi was a Fulbright Scholar from 1987 to 1988 at Columbia University in New York. She has always accompanied her academic activities with a historical and critical commitment to the arts with an uninterrupted attention toward such Italian and international artists as Enrico Castellani, Piero Dorazio, Jannis Kounellis, Dan Graham and Sol LeWitt, for whom she has curated exhibitions, catalogues and monographs.
Among her books: Arte USA del Novecento, Peripezie del dopoguerra nell’arte italiana, L’Italia nei Wall Drawings di Sol LeWitt and Monumenti per difetto.
Prof. Zevi was the curator of the Arte in memoria biennial of contemporary art at the Synagogue in Ostia Antica and the Stolpersteine project in Italy. She is the President of the Bruno Zevi Foundation and the Arte in memoria Association, a member of the CDEC (Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation) scientific committee and a member of the Fondazione Villa Emma scientific committee. In 2018 she received the honour “Cavalierato dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Federale di Germania”. Since 1987 she is a regular collaborator with the Corriere della Sera daily newspaper, and since 2012 with Pagine Ebraiche, the monthly of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.


Ittai Weinryb teaches and writes on medieval and early modern art and material and visual culture from the greater Mediterranean to Eurasia and the Indian Ocean. He is currently completing a book on art and material culture circulating in the Black Sea region during the Middle Ages and another monograph which centers on the sentiment of Hope as a category of artistic creativity. He is the co-editor of the book series Art/Work which is set to narrate a new history of art founded in the study of objects, materials, and technology. He is the author of The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages (2016) and of Die Hildesheimer Avantgarde: Kunst und Kolonialismus im mittelalterlichen Deutschland (2023), and the curator of the curator of the exhibition Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place (2018).


Light refreshments will be provided


Public programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation.