416_SR1938 by Elena Cologni. Opening and Conference

Events — Universita' di Pisa, Polo della Memora San Rossore, Via Risorgimento 19, Italy & Microsoft Teams
12 October 2023, 09:30

The inaugural ceremony of the permanent memorial by Elena Cologni 416_SR1938 will take place on the 12th of October 2023 at 5 pm at the Polo della Memoria San Rossore of the Università di Pisa, curated by Alessandro Melis and Ilaria Fruzzetti - Heliopolis 21 Assiciate Architects – with the contribution by curator e contemporary art critic Gabi Scardi.

The work 416_SR1938, conceived within the broader project 'The places of memory', is the result of almost three years of work by the artist Elena Cologni, Associate Professor at the Cambridge School of Art (ARU), at the invitation of the Universita' di Pisa, and with the support of the Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi Ebraici (CISE) at the same university.

The memorial consists of an installation site specific of large dimensions occupying two sides of the building SR1938. It comprises 416 brass elements: a number corresponding to that of member of the Jewish community in Pisa in 1938, at the time of the implementation of the racial laws. These elements are fixed onto the walls so as to generate shadows on them. These change with the passing of time and light condition due to the inclination of the sun. The memorial thus evokes variability typical of processes of memory. The artist explains how the president of the Jewish community of Pisa Maurizio Gabrielli, seeing the memorial in situ (07/12/2023), said: "the memorial is truly alive [...] you gave life back to these 416 people".

The conference at 9:30 on the same day ‘Architecture and Art in Dialogue with Memory' contextualises the 416_SR1938 within the current debate on the role of memorials, including contributions by Joe Mc Cullagh (Head of Cambridge School of Art ARU) Prof Zucchi, Prof Mancarella, Alessandra Veronese (CISE Director), Roger Diener (Diener & Diener Architekten ), Ilaria Fruzzetti and Alessandro Melis (HELIOPOLIS 21 ARCHITETTI ASSOCIATI), Gabi Scardi (Universita’ Cattolica, Milano) Dr Caterina Albano (Reader in Visual Culture and Science, Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London), Chiara Pazzaglia (Scuola Normale Superiore, & Université Paris Nanterre), Dr Elizabeth Johnson (Cambridge School of Art, ARU), Prof Fabrizio Franceschini (CISE), e la Prof Lucia Frattarelli.

The work contributes to the Polo della Memora SR1938 designed by Heliopolis 21 Associated Architects (of which Alessandro Melis, former Curator of the Italian Pavilion, 17th Architecture Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, is the founder and Ilaria Fruzzetti is an Associate) together with Diener & Diener Architeknen. SR1938 is now included in the census of Italian architecture from 1945 to today, promoted by the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity - Ministry of Cultural Heritage. The name “Polo della Memoria San Rossore 1938” was chosen in 2020 by the then Rector of the University of Pisa, prof. Mancarella, to recall the collective memory of the "Ceremony of remembrance and apology" held in 2018 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Racial Laws in Italy (1938) in San Rossore, and it is to these tragic events in history.

Commissioned by the University of Pisa and curated by Alessandro Melis and Ilaria Fruzzetti - partners of the Heliopolis 21 Architetti Associati studio - and Gabi Scardi, Elena Cologni's intervention is developed in collaboration with the Community Jewish community of Pisa and with Fabrizio Franceschini, and Prof Alessandra Veronese, Director of the Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi Ebraici (CISE) of Universita’ di Pisa, Centro, Bibliografico "Tullia Zevi", Roma, Fondazione per i Beni Culturali Ebraici in Italia, Moleskine Foundation, as well as local artisans . The project also had the generous support of Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University and Arts Council England (UK Government).

Click here for more information.

Event Contact: Elena Cologni - elena.cologni@aru.ac.uk