Saturday 11 December 2021 – Michael Rakowitz. Seder for Pompeii

Saturday 11 December 2021

On the occasion of the seventeentth edition of Giornata del Contemporaneo

Michael Rakowitz. Seder for Pompeii

Performative conference

Introduced by Andrea Viliani and Marianna Vecellio

Teatro-Atrio del Castello di Rivoli, 5pm

In collaboration with Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological matters and Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Saturday 11 December 2021, 5pm, the artist Michael Rakowitz (Long Island-New York, 1973) will perform a lecture entitled Seder for Pompeii at the Teatro del Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, curated by Marianna Vecellio, curator of the Castello di Rivoli, who will introduce the event with Andrea Viliani, co-curator of the program Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters.

The event - organised within the collaboration between the Castello di Rivoli and the programme Pompeii Commitment. Archaelogical Matters conceived for the Archaeological Park of Pompeii by Viliani with Massimo Osanna and Gabriel Zuchtriegel - is presented on the occasion of the seventeenth edition of the Giornata del Contemporaneo promoted by AMACI-Associazione dei Musei d'Arte Contemporanea Italiani with the support of the Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

The seder is a symbolic meal consisting, as the word indicates, of a particular sequence of food and prayers, held on certain occasions in Jewish culture, such as Passover. It narrates different moments in the history of the Jewish people, including the conflict with Pharaoh, the ten plagues and the liberation from slavery. For this action, the artist has collected numerous objects made of lava stone that refer to the history of the archaeological site of Pompeii but also to the recent discovery of the thermopolium, a place of refreshment where the inhabitants of Pompeii used to buy drinks and food ready for daily consumption. The 'thermopolium' itself and, above all, the traces of food present inside its terracotta amphorae, inspired the artist to realise a project related to food and its rituals. Through the practice of storytelling and the ceremonial care and preparation of nourishment, the artist evokes the ancient city of Pompeii, bringing it back to life and reconstructing a new community around it.

An audiovisual documentation of Seder for Pompeii will be published simultaneously on the portal and on the Digital Cosmos of Castello di Rivoli.

Michael Rakowitz © Photo John Nguyen/PA Wire, Courtesy Whitechapel Gallery