In-ruins 2023

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Date(s) - 01/09/2023 - 01/10/2023
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We are thrilled to announce that In-ruins residency 2023 will take place in the Province of Cosenza for the first time, to engage with the history of the Archaeological Park of Sibari. This area of the Calabrian territory, topographically known as Sibaritide, saw the rise, expansion and decline of the great polis of Sybaris. Following the destruction of the Greek city, the Classical center of Thurii and the Roman city of Copia were founded, partially overlapping its ruins. This exceptional stratification makes Sibari one of the largest and most important sites in the Mediterranean up until the Roman Age. The Park includes the Sibaritide National Archaeological Museum, the Horse Park Archaeological Area and the Amendolara National Archaeological Museum. The residency is organized in collaboration with Fondazione Elpis, Milan, and will host 5 among national and international artists selected via open call by a jury composed by: Bruno Barsanti, Director of Fondazione Elpis, Alessandra Franetovich, Art Historian and Curator, Ellen Pavey & Nastassja Simensky, Coordinators AHA Network UCL, Gianmarco Porru, Artist and Resident 2022.


At the end of the VIII century BC, a group of Achaeans occupied the fertile plain between the rivers Kratos and Sybaris and founded a city named Sybaris, after the river. Here, the settlers discovered a cosmopolitan environment hosting the exchanges of multiple Mediterranean populations. They settled peacefully and contributed to the establishment of a commercial network that fostered the city’s wealth and expansion. Sybaris prospered, occupied the entire plain and became the center of commercial and cultural routes linking distant places in the Mediterranean and Italy. Strong and stable alliances connected the new colony to twenty-five peoples and four different cities, covering an area touching on both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts via the internal Apennine roads. The two extremes of “the empire of Sibari” were Poseidonia (Paestum) on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Metaponto on the Ionian Sea, both founded by Sibari. It became one of the richest and most powerful cities of Magna Graecia and, after having defeated and conquered the rival Siris (Policoro), counted over 300,000 inhabitants and perimeter of walls of about 9 kilometers. However, wealth and opulence increased the moral and military weakness of the Sybarites, who got defeated in 510 BC by the Crotonians who, it is said, diverted the banks of the Crati river to submerge the city. In 444 BC the forces of Pericles founded in the same area the Panhellenic colony of Thurii. The urban layout of the new center is attributed to Ippodamo di Mileto known as the first architect to have applied planimetric schemes to city planning. Ancient sources claim that even historian Herodotus briefly lived in Thurii in this period. In Roman times, the city was partly incorporated by the colony of Copiae, to be abandoned in the VII century AD due to rising groundwater.


Aiming at weaving new connections between the past and present of the site and its ongoing excavations, the In-ruins curatorial team – in concert with the Management of the Archaeological Park of Sibari – proposes to explore the contemporary topicality of the stories it preserves by inviting national and international artists to present projects (research or production-based) inspired by the following research axes:

  1. CONTACT ZONE: Demonstrating the anthropological constant of the unarrestable transformation

of the same places through different peoples, Sibari invites you to unearth traces of a cosmopolitan and shared Mediterranean, able to decentralize and erode hegemonic, universalist and univocal narratives.

  1. LA DOLCE VITA: Also thinking of the default of cities like Detroit, the unbreathable air of hyper-productive megalopolis like New Delhi, the exorbitant costs of places like Milan and New York, the story of Sibari encourages us to interpret the end of an empire as a creative, moral and political opportunity.
  2. TO FREE THE LANDSCAPE: Ippodamo’s approach to urban planning seems particularly relevant when considering the present state of the Calabrian landscape, punctured by thousands of uncoordinated and often uncompleted building investments. This opens critical spaces to conceive of the archaeological site as a privileged vantage point from which to document, explore and rethink the surrounding urban and natural landscape.
  3. FAIRY TALES, HUMANS AND ANIMALS: Anecdotes and short stories are attributed to the inhabitants of Sybaris. These tales came to constitute the body of the so-called sybaritic fable, one of the three archaic fable genres – together with the Aesopic and the Lydian-Phrygian – which distinguished itself by the exclusive use of men and not animals as characters. This narrative specificity of the ancient Sybaris seems particularly fertile for researchers animated by an interest in folk and traditions linked to cynicism and irony; or, on the contrary, exploring posthuman, zoo-centric, zoe-centric approaches.
  4. ECOLOGY OF THE RUINS: Climate change and the rise in sea levels can only further compromise this scenario, shared by still inhabited centers such as Venice and Taranto. Cities of ancient and modern foundation share the present risk of disappearance and evoke mythical tales of disappeared, and now invisible civilizations.
  5. ARCHAEOLOGY AS INDIVIDUAL EXPLORATION: Engaged in the preservation and custody of the historical and archaeological heritage of his land, Laviola’s story leads us to reflect on the interdisciplinary qualities implicit to archaeological research, conceived not only as a process of reconstruction of genealogies and origins, but also as a poetic and individual experience.


2023 Residents will be hosted in Amendolara, a small town situated on a succession of plains overlooking the Ionian Sea, located 30 km away from Sibari Archaeological Park. The town counts less than 3000 inhabitants and is a 10 minutes drive away from the coast. Hosting conditions include:

  • Free access to Sibari Archaeological Park;
  • Room and Board for 1 month in Amendolara;
  • Production budget: 700 euro per artist;
  • Dedicated residency car;
  • Meetings with archaeologists;
  • Curatorial support.


Promoted by Associazione Archeofuturo since 2018, In-ruins is a residency program dedicated to the encounter between contemporary art and archeology via the transitory settlement of artists, curators and researchers in towns neighboring monumental sites in Calabria. In-ruins rethinks the territory through its past, turns ancient finds into places for encounter and shares urgent global narratives to the borders of peripheral territories. Rooting its activities within a meridian and Mediterranean horizon, the project aims to valorise both cultural heritage and the traditions, myths and stories of the very communities that guard it.

Sibari Archaeological Park

Sibari Archaeological Park is an institution of the Ministry of Culture with special autonomy. Its competences cover the fields of tutelage, valorisation and public fruition (D.P.C.M. n. 76, 26 June 2019). The Institute has jurisdiction over the National Archaeological Museum of Sibaritide, the archaeological areas of Sibari-Thurii-Copia and the National Archaeological Museum of Amendolara (CS).

Fondazione Elpis

Founded in 2020 by Marina Nissim, entrepreneur and collector, the core of Fondazione Elpis’ mission is the support of young artists. The Fondazione pursues its objectives through the production of exhibitions, residencies, educational activities and projects all over the country. With the aim of involving different audiences and exploring geographical areas outside traditional art circuits, Fondazione Elpis unites worlds that are only apparently distant by intercepting the evolution of expressive languages. The decision to open a new headquarters in Milan – in October 2022 – stems from the projects and collaborations activated in recent years on a national scale. The Fondazione has thus consolidated an ever-widening network, implementing new models of participation and cultural fruition. One example is Una Boccata d’Arte, the contemporary art project that has reached its fourth edition in 2023.



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