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January 16 - February 20, 2006

Ghost Town - Borgo Fantasma

Borgo Fantasma, the poetic images of an abandoned southern Italian town by Rosaria Vigorito, are on view here at the Italian American Museum from January 16th through February 10th. These images communicate a longing for a time past. The events that followed the 1980 earthquake in the Campania region of Italy, Vecchio Romagnano al Monte created a lush overlay of material for Vigorito to draw upon. The photographs on view for this exhibition refer to a portion of her production. Vigorito in this body of work addresses some of the most relevant issues in contemporary art. Her intent to recreate a town once inhabited and thriving by her social concerns, photographs, film, and paintings place her within the contemporary arena.

Although the town itself Vecchio Romagnano al Monte located close to Salerno in the Campania region of Italy dates back to 700 A.D. Rosaria Vigorito’s conceptual interests explored through the aesthetic of captured simple moments and the beauty of daily life convey a shared interest of feminist, political and earth artists of the 1970’s onward. Those willing to explore the idea of the earth, prehistory, the continuum of time, community, graves and gardens rekindled the idea that art is ritual based. One just needs to think of the fertile ground for art making and thought left behind by the mysterious configurations of abandoned Stonehenge - the sites of Pompeii and Athens, among so many others. The work of Robert Smithson recently revisited during his Whitney Museum retrospective, Dennis Oppenheimer, Ana Mendeita—share a common thread. Back then the concept of art created as these artists resurrected a response to a social issue—presently Vigorito continues a rich tradition made richer by her interests. Vigorito addresses issues of identity, tradition, transformation, reinvention, transcendence, resettlement and community through her work.

Her film borgo fantasma Vecchio Romagnano al Monte brings to life what she is thinking. It is filled with images of the abandoned town and living stories told by its people. The idea of being intrigued by an abandoned place harkens back to her collective memory and the weight of an interpreted immigrant past. The film will have its debut at the Italian American Museum as part of this exhibition. The Italian American Museum is thankful to Rosaria Vigorito for exhibiting this compelling project and debuting the film borgo fantasma Vecchio Romagnano.

January 16th through February 10th, 2006
Opening Reception, January 18th, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

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