The Czech Cultural Institute opened in Rome last month, making it the republics 19th foreign cultural institute in Europe and the United States. Director Miloslav Hirsch already has four exhibitions, two conferences, three cinema screenings and two concerts planned beween now and September.
An exhibition by contemporary artist Jan Knap marks the opening of the institute in Rome. Born in 1949, Knap emigrated from the then Czechoslovakia in 1969 after the invasion of Warsaw pact troops, that marked the end of the "Prague Spring". After studying art in Dusseldorf, he moved to New York and then to Rome to study theology. In 1992 Knap returned to the Czech Republic to live and work. On display is a series of artworks with biblical motifs. Until 13 May.
Czech Cultural Institute, Via Costabella 28-32, tel. 0699705158, www.czechcentres.cz/rome.
Two renowned international artists Marisa Merz of Italy and Rebecca Horn of Germany are sharing centre stage at the latest Soltanto un Quadro al Massimo exhibition, organised by the German Academy.
Merz divides her time between Milan and Turin and is one of the chief exponents of the Italian inspired arte povera movement.
Horn has featured at numerous exhibitions across the world; she is especially interested in the dynamics between actors and audiences, and works through designs, photography, video and film.
2-31 May, Mon-Thus 09.00-13.00, 14.00-17.00, Fri 09.00-13.00.
German Academy, Villa Massimo, tel. 064425931, www.villamassimo.de.
The Japanese Cultural Institute is hosting an exhibition by 11 Japanese photographers. The works deal with the everyday world, and are specifically of the areas where the photographers have lived and worked Tokyo, Yokosuka, Osaka and Nagoya and their families, personal memories and the inherent problems surrounding these subjects.
Out of the Ordinary is part of the International Photography Festival in Rome, and features work by Miyako Ischiuchi, Hiroko Okada, Yuki Onedera, Tomoko Sawada, Kuni Sugiura, Ryudai Takano, Yo Mi Chin, Shunsaku Hishikari, Shizuka Yokomizo, Keizo Motoda and Tomoko Yoneda.
The exhibition runs until 11 May, Mon-Fri 09.00-12.30, 14.00-18.30, Wed to 17.30.
Japanese Cultural Institute, Via Gramsci 74, tel. 063224754, www.jfroma.it.
Azar Nafisi, Iranian-born author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, reads from her work at the American Academy on 17 May at 18.00. Nafisi is a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, United States. She previously taught at the University of Tehran, from where she was expelled for refusing to wear a veil. Nafisi has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic.
Essays, drawings and photographs on Italian gardens will be presented on 26 May at 18.00. Italian Villas and Gardens is the first comprehensive study of landscape architecture in Italy by the academys fellows. It also features essays by six authors, a catalogue of drawings, and illustrations from the academys photographic archive. The speakers at the presentation, in English and Italian, include Margherita Azzi Visentini, Marcello Fagiolo, Mary Margaret Jones and Annalisa Maniglio Calcagno.
On 27 May, the annual concert features musical compositions by the 2004-05 fellows, Harold Meltzer and Steven Burke; it begins at 18.00 and performers include the Peabody Trio and soprano Elizabeth Farnum. On 29 May, the fellows annual reading sees Anthony Doerr, short-story writer and novelist, and poet Lisa Williams reading from recent work (18.00). An end-of-year celebration of the 2004-05 Rome prize fellows work is being held at the academy on 30 May from 17.00-21.00; visitors can tour the archaeology laboratory and the studios.
American Academy, Via A. Masina 5, tel. 0658461, www.aarome.org.
The Light Surgeons bring their innovative form of entertainment to Rome 19-21 May in an event promoted by the British Council. Comprising a designer, film-maker and musician, the trio combines music, narration and motion graphics, by projecting films, slides and other images onto backdrop screens. Palazzo dei Congressi in EUR (21.00).
The London Sinfonietta and Warp Records join forces on 4 May at the Auditorium-Parco della Musica (21.00). This fusion of one of the most eminent ensembles in British classical music with a leading producer of electronic music creates a style all of its own. The programme includes the work of avant-garde composer Edgard Varse and American innovator John Cage, and electro-artists Plaid and Jamie Liddell.
There will be a conference on the role of the Dandy in the late 19th century on 5 and 6 May, at the Instituto dellEnciclopedia Italiana, Piazza della Enciclopedia from 10.00; the event looks at how dandyish tastes incorporated trends in art and music during the fin-de-sicle, as this period of decadence was known.
British Council, Via delle Quattro Fontane 20, tel. 06478141, www.britishcouncil.it.
A lecture at the British School of Rome at 18.00 on 12 May features Nicholas Poussins Mars and Venus, which he based on a passage from ancient Roman poet Lucretius. Apart from two years as court painter to Louis XIII of France, Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665) spent his entire career in Rome. Gendered Genealogies, presented by the schools fellow Phillippa Plock, looks at the history of the painting and its ties with the dal Pozzo family.
The exhibition "Academici" showcases 18 artists from the first five years of the Australia Council Rome Residency Award in the visual arts and crafts at the British School at Rome, 1999-2004. The contemporary Australian artists represent a cross-section of multidisciplinary artistic practice including sculpture, photography, video, installation, painting and film. 19 May-5 June. The British School at Rome Gallery. Mon-Fri 16.30-19.30.
British School of Rome, Via Gramsci 61, tel. 063264939, www.bsr.ac.uk.