Which city in Italy are you from? How would you describe it, using three words?
Giulia: I am from Rome: ancient, splendid, and cozy.
Elena: I am from Rome: eternal, motionless, but always beautiful.
Serena: I am from Catania, Sicily: an unparalleled, motivating, and lethargic city.
Is it your first time here in NYC? What’s the thing that has surprised you the most about NYC?
Giulia: Yes, this is my first time in New York and what surprised me the most is its multiculturalism.
Elena: This is not my first time in NYC, but every time I come, it’s always a different experience; every stay opens a new chapter, and it’s a new story in itself.
Serena: No, but it’s the first time that I live here for longer than a few days. The first time I came I was surprised by the High Line, one of the most fascinating attractions in the city, in my opinion. Going for a walk there was the first thing that I did as soon as I arrived this time.
Tell me the most interesting thing you have seen so far in NYC.
Giulia: Exhibits of modern and contemporary art at various museums and galleries.
Elena: Joan Jonas’s screening at the Anthology Film Archives.
Serena: The streets.
4. What do you like to do when you are not working?
Giulia: I like to watch movies and read novels.
Elena: Unfortunately, most of the time, I am still thinking about work and all the things that still need to be done…
Serena: Staying with people I love.
If you could purchase any painting, which one would it be? Why? And where would you put it in your apartment?
Giulia: Only one? It’s hard to say… maybe Alberto Burri’s Sacco and I would put it in my bedroom.
Elena: Good question… If I could, I would buy A LOT of paintings. Anyway, I would purchase Pontormo’s Deposition. I wouldn’t care about the location, I would place it wherever.
Serena: Salvador Dalí, Girl at a Window. Because I have a postcard of this painting on the wall in front of my bed in Catania. And because I am attracted by the representations of women waiting at windows (like that by Savinio, La vedova (The widow), now displayed at CIMA). I would like to have the original painting in the same position of my postcard: in front of my bed, so to see every morning the same sea the girl is staring at.
If you weren’t a Ph.D candidate, what would you be doing instead?
Giulia: Maybe I would be an artist; I went to a fine arts high school.
Elena: Probably an art librarian or an art archivist. Or perhaps a psychologist or a pharmacist.
Serena: I would grow a vegetable garden in Sicily, and then I would sell my products to New Yorkers, seeing the price of organic fruits and vegetables here!
What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA? What are the things that you are most looking forward to?
Giulia: Doing research on Savinio to expand and complete my Ph.D thesis, which I hope to publish once I return to Italy.
Elena: I am very glad to contribute to the Savinio season at CIMA, and I am looking forward to sharing different perspectives on this multifaceted artist.
Serena: Being a scholar of Italian Studies, and not an art historian, I hope to get to know better the world of modern art, galleries, and curatorship, which has always orbited around my projects. I hope to learn as much as possible, and I also look forward to presenting my viewpoint on Savinio to the visitors I meet at CIMA.
The fourth fellow this season, Alice Ensabella, will be joining CIMA in January. Each fellow has their own unique perspective of Savinio. Come see the exhibition with each of them! They lead guided visits on Fridays and Saturdays at 11am and 2pm. Serena Alessi will also be speaking about Savinio’s literary work, and his focus on female mythological figures in particular, on December 14.