Season 3


For its third season, from Oct. 3, 2023 to June 30, 2024 FOROF - a space dedicated to the dialogue between contemporary art and archaeology founded by Giovanna Caruso Fendi - presents BALTIC ADVENTURE, a site-specific project by Lithuanian artist Augustas Serapinas (Vilnius - Lithuania, 1990) that recreates the landscape of an alarming future, the result of the devastating effects of global warming.

An exhibition itinerary made up of evocations and connections, curated by Ilaria Gianni, intended to be a warning to the problem of climate instability and a call to action in favor of the environment.

In the archaeological spaces of FOROF Serapinas recontextualizes his work Mudmen, in which snowman-like figures - made, however, from straw and mud - inhabit the ancient Roman Forum as presences that warn us about a dystopian future, more likely than we imagine.

The voices of the ruins
Critics by Ilaria Gianni

Baltic Adventure is a site-specific personal exhibition by the artist Augustas Serapinas (Vilnius, 1990), in dialogue with the history of Rome, designed to be precise, for the apse of the Basilica Ulpia, a portion of which is below the current Palazzo Roccagiovane, home of FOROF – a project that makes the conversation between archeology and contemporary art the heart of its program. The artist's poetics, always in tune with the space he investigates, develops works grafted onto past stories, capable of activating reflections on the present through a shift in spatial and conceptual perspective. On this occasion, Serapinas listens to the Forum of Trajan, a meeting point of the civic life of the Romans and the place where the slave manumissio ceremonies took place, with the idea of recovering its function as a participated public space. For Baltic Adventure, the apse of the Basilica Ulpia comes back to life and is populated with a group of new subjects coming from uncertain times and places. An assembly of Mudmen, characters made of straw and mud, seems to have gathered to discuss some political emergency, just as happened among citizens in the 2nd century AD. With their silent presence among the columns and marbles, the groups of puppets try to warn us of something: their disturbing and shapeless bodies stand as emblematic testimonies of the catastrophic consequences to which global warming is leading us, from which they themselves have been generated. Originally intended to be Snowmen, snowman sculptures made by children in the parks of Riga, and recovered by the artist to be exhibited at the Riga Biennial, they instead became mudmen when, in January 2020, the snow in the Latvian capital did not falls. The unusually hot conditions don't just deprive Serapinas of material to work with, they confront him with the tangible manifestation of climate change, sudden and threatening. The subjects born from this unusual and alarming situation, materializing among the ruins as if in a science fiction scenario, observe us and, with their grotesque and tender being, encourage us to take a position, to act concretely as responsible citizens. Symbolic, surreal bodies, ruins themselves, interacting with the remains of a time gone by, affirm how a critical and profound relationship with the past, with archeology and its center of political confrontation, is able to remind us how the present must be addressed and the future preserved.

In dialogue with the ruins of the Basilica Ulpia are the works Part of the House from Rūdninkai (2023) and Part of the House from Skirgiškės (2023), belonging to a series of works in constant development. Ruins of wooden houses, coming from the Baltic countries, removed from their environment and subjected to a transformation process, take the form of installations designed specifically for the spaces of FOROF, together with Window Glasses from Jonas house (2023), small sculptures by glass, obtained from the windows of the houses, fused together with a pigment created by the artist using metal parts of the same house, with an almost alchemical process. The structure of the domestic space is thus recovered as a whole and altered with the aim of building a new system of perception and knowledge. These old buildings, part of the Baltic architectural landscape, built with artisan knowledge destined for oblivion, preserved only in the historic city centres, have been torn down and sold as firewood for years. By saving these discarded houses, the artist recovers something removed, preserving its presence. Although Serapinas deprives them of their original form, fragmenting them, reducing them to roofs, pieces of wall, beams and windows, these homes, freed from their function, become objects that declare their value as artistic artefacts and the technical knowledge from which they derive. Ruins themselves, the artist uses the fragments of these houses in terms of what they preserve, staging them in a new sculptural constellation. Its intent is not simply to preserve a local tradition, but to build a discussion on the political and social fragility that belongs to the historical object and its narratives, demonstrating the transience of all knowledge systems, destined to be interrupted, but capable of being brought back to life to reveal new perspectives. The question Augustas Serapinas asks is basically what is possible to learn about our past if we allow fragments of history to perform in contexts and situations other than their original ones. With his works, the artist reminds us that ruins are not neutral objects, but rather thresholds. Although they seem to tell the story of their own time, what they subtly reveal to us -- whether they belong to ancient Rome or a Baltic modernity -- is their being interstices in which to insinuate a critique of the contemporary, commenting on history with the intention of constructing a new vision, noting the revolutionary cultural power that the creative act still retains.

EPISODE 5 • Farewell to known skies

19.06.2024 Wednesday Hours 20:00 (2 Hours) Foro Traiano, 1 - Rome

The fifth episode is an unprecedented performance by Gaia Fugazza, in collaboration with Isabelle Woodhouse, reflecting on how climate and its memories are ultimately part of the narrative of an environment shared with a community to which one belongs, even after many years and with different life experiences

EPISODE 4 • Festa con Piccola Tragedia

16.04.2024 Thursday Hours 19:00 (2 hours) Foro Traiano, 1 - Rome

Festa con Piccola Tragedia, presented for the first time in Rome by the artist in residence at the Instituto Svizzero, represents a moment of reflection on the idea of "party" understood as a transitory event where a community gathers ritually, exchanging information, desires, emotions, through gestures and sounds.


25.03.2024 Monday Hour 19:00 (2 hours) Foro Traiano, 1 - Rome

In the previous episodes: following a workshop with Augustas Serapinas and a concert with the Vilnius University Folk Ensemble "Ratilio", for the Third Episode FOROF presents Dopo il diluvio, a performance by the theater company Muta Imago designed in dialogue with the site specific and FOROF archaeological spaces.

Event Terminated


25.01.2024 Thursday Hours 19:00 (2 hours) Foro Traiano, 1 - Rome

The l Second Episode features a performance of Sutartinė, ancient Lithuanian traditional songs since 2010 inscribed on UNESCO´s intangible cultural heritage list.

Event Terminated


05.12.2023 Tuesday Hours 19:00 (2 hours) Foro Traiano, 1 - Rome

FOROF presents a limited series of Mudballs Editions created by Augustas Serapinas, the featured artist in the now ongoing exhibition "BALTIC ADVENTURE" curated by Ilaria Gianni.

Event Terminated