The first week of the “4th Floor & Procida Island” workshop took place at the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome and commenced with the lecture of Professor Lorenzo Bruni entitled “Contro l’impegno?”, a title borrowed from the homonymous book of the literary critic Walter Siti. During his lecture, Professor Bruni systematically analysed the tendency of contemporary art towards social, political and moral issues. On the second day, having presented their work, the participants were asked to create an artwork in the form of a poster challenged by the idea of political commitment in art.
On the third day, Professor Paolo Canevari introduced the participants to the mechanisms of the contemporary art market and shared with them his valuable experience as an international contemporary artist. In a roundtable discussion, the students communicated their thoughts on the position of the artist in the contemporary world and had their thoughts challenged by Professor Canevari and their fellow students.
The first week came to an end with Professor Beatrice Peria‘s fascinating lecture on some of Gerhard Richter’s most emblematic works: The Atlas, The Birkenau paintings & the October 18, 1977 series. Through the analysis of these works, the students had the opportunity to understand the concept of commitment/decommitment.
The same evening, the participants visited the Basilica of S. Agostino, the Church of S. Luigi dei Francesi and the Spazio Taverna Foundation where the curators gave an impromptu lecture on their curatorial practices.
The second week started with the departure for Procida Island where the second part of the workshop occurred. Upon the arrival, Professor Federico Fusi picked up the torch and presented the “lemon drawing” session, in which the participants asked to use the lemon juice as invisible ink that later would be activated by candlelight and the drawing would be revealed.
The next morning, the participants were free to explore the island having a challenging task: to record the sounds of the island. At the end of the day, the students and the professors gathered and gave a radio broadcast on www.radioarte.it. in which they shared not only their recordings but also their experiences of the soundscape of the island.
On the third day on the island Professor Sergio Sarra introduced his series of pencil-drawing exercises that were strongly linked to the unique light of Procida. In the first exercise, the participants embarked in a boat and drew the island from a certain distance. The second exercise was called Night drawing, during this session the students had to draw the effects of artificial light on seawater. The next day, the students were requested to draw the cliffs of Vivara Island and the atmosphere above them. The noon, the participants visit the historical owner of art/tapes/22 gallery, Maria Gloria Bicocchi, in her house where she narrated her colourful art journey. The last drawing session of the series took place in the evening and Professor Sarra asked the students to make automatic drawings from the highest point of the island.
On the last day, before the departure for Rome, the final meeting was held at the garden of the hotel and the students presented their drawings and shared their artistic experiences of the workshop with their fellow students and the professors.