Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Identity & Memory

MAXXI | National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, Rome

On the occasion of the opening of Chantal Akerman. From the Other Side, the most comprehensive retrospective of the Belgian filmmaker's body of work in Italy since her death, MAXXI Museum hosted a live performance and a talk to celebrate her pioneering career.

Chantal Akerman’s (1950, Bruxelles - 2015, Paris) work is a journey of memory and within memory: that of the artist, of History itself and of the audience are intertwined in an endless dialogue. The performance was structured around an absence—the filmmaker, represented on stage by her first short film Saute ma ville (1968)—and a presence—the stellar Franco-American cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, her companion and collaborator for many years, who played in dialogue with her image on the screen.

The music performance has been followed by a conversation between Carla Subrizi, Professor of Contemporary Art History at Sapienza, University of Rome, and the curators of the retrospective, Giovanna Fazzuoli and Giulia Magno. Introduced by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Director, MAXXI Arte, and Giulia Ferracci, Curator, MAXXI Performance, Chantal Akerman. Identity and Memory has been an opportunity to retrace the extraordinary filmography that—exploring the themes of female identity, history, memory, nomadism, deterritorialization through the contaminations between film, music and performance arts—has redefined the relationship between the audience and the moving image.

Left: Sonia Wieder-Atherton performing in dialogue with the images of Chantal Akerman’s Saute ma ville (1968).

Courtesy of Sonia Wieder-Atherton.

Right: A still from the film.

Courtesy of the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique.

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