Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession)
10th May - 25th September 2010

May 6, 2010

Strange Comfort Invito Web FronteThe exhibition "Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession)" is a project that draws inspiration from Malcom Lowry's short story of the same name. Lowry (1909-1957) wrote three short stories set in Italy, of which "Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession)" is the first.
Lowry describes a visit to the house in Piazza di Spagna where the English poet John Keats died of tuberculosis in 1821 and which was, in 1909, turned into a memorial, housing an outstanding collection of books and documents on English Romanticism. The story's protagonist, Sigbjørn Wilderness, "an American writer in Rome on a Guggenheim Fellowship", visits the Keats House and takes notes while reflecting on manuscripts, relics and artefacts exhibited in the museum. Lowry's story was published posthumously in 1961 in the volume of his late, loosely related, travelogue-style prose pieces "Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place", along with two other "Italian" stories "Elephant and Colosseum" and "Present Estate of Pompeii".

The "Strange Comfort" story provides a model of a writer's intimate encounter with texts and stories of other writers - among them Keats, Poe, Gogol and Kafka - and describes a method of private study that seems to reverberate in the practice of many contemporary artists. In similar spirit, the exhibition focuses on the "strange comfort" afforded by curatorial practice not as merely a means to making exhibitions but as a comprehensive praxis of interpreting, transforming and unifying knowledge from several different fields in the humanities; among them the study of history, literature and art. The artists in the show share a preference for idiosyncratic research that counters received readings of cultural history and opens ways to new interpretations, enabling production of critical narratives.
The exhibition includes a number of international artists presenting their work in several venues located within the walking distance between the Istituto Svizzero on Via Ludovisi and the Keats-Shelley House in Piazza di Spagna.

The exhibition is curated by Adam Szymczyk, Director of Kunsthalle Basel, and co-curated by Salvatore Lacagnina, Head of the Artistic Program at the Istituto Svizzero in Rome.
Another version of the show will be presented at Kunsthalle Basel in June 2010.

Exhibition locations:
Istituto Svizzero di Roma
Via Liguria 20
00187 Roma
lunedì - venerdì ore 10.00 - 13.00/15.00 - 18.00
sabato ore 15.00 - 19.00
chiuso domenica e festivi, ingresso libero

The Keats-Shelley House
Piazza Di Spagna 26
00187 Roma
lunedì - venerdì ore 10.00 - 13.00/15.00 - 17.00
sabato solo su appuntamento, chiuso domenica

Chiesa di Sant'Isidoro
Via degli Artisti 41
00187 Roma
su appuntamento

Libreria Antiquaria C.E. Rappaport
Via Sistina 23
00187 Roma
lunedì - venerdì ore 9.30 - 12.30 /15.00 - 19.00
sabato su appuntamento, chiuso domenica