Public Time, Monuments and Ghosts in Florence: a Walk and a Conversation

Organized by Hannah Baader, Costanza Caraffa and Angelika Stepken

What do we consider a monument in a city where the historic centre is labelled and marketed as the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’? Do we expect monuments? Do they expect us? How have they changed their meanings over time? Who ascribes meaning to them? What has never become a monument, but still ghosts through the ages as a witness? How does a city open up and seal itself in time? Is there a ‘public time’? A time that becomes public? In which a city can be ‘read’?

Walking together through the western periphery of the city, we observe and discuss a zone on both sides of the Arno: the Isolotto neighbourhood with its gardens, built in the post-war period as a model of social housing, the Ponte all’Indiano, a cable-stayed bridge over the Arno built in the 1970s, the Monumento all’Indiano in the Cascine Park, built in memory of the Indian Prince Rajaram Chuttraputti, Maharajah of Kolhapur, who died suddenly in Florence in 1870 at the age of 21 on his way back from London, up to the recent real estate development at Manifattura Tabacchi, a long time abandoned tobacco factory opposite to the Isolotto quarter close to the Northern Arno bank.

This event results from a three-year cooperation between the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institute and Villa Romana, which since 2019 jointly invited ‘International Research Fellows’ and thus initiated an intensified dialogue.

Tuesday 5 July 2022, 6.00 pm


Eleni Kamma
Taking Place: Parrhesiastic Theater as a Model for Artistic Practice

Please note that Eleni Kamma's lecture has been cancelled (to be rescheduled at a later date). We apologise for any inconvenience.   

Kamma’s research project examines how local and traditional European forms of parrhesiastic theatre relate to and provide new insights into critical artistic practices today and how tensions between the roles of individual and group, ‘I’ and ‘we,’ artist – audience – institution, may open up a parrhesiastic space for critical artistic practices. Parrhesiastic theatre takes place in public view and incites the spectators’ agency to speak their minds.

Eleni Kamma (Athens, 1973) is a visual artist and researcher. She holds a PhD Doctoral degree from Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (2016-2021). Kamma is a member of Jubilee, a Brussels-based platform for artistic research and production. She lives and works in Brussels and Maastricht


06 July 2022, 9.00 am – 12.30 pm

Public Walk and Conversation

Public Time, Monuments and Ghosts in Florence: A Walk
Isolotto, Ponte all’Indiano

With Hannah Baader, Roberto Budini Gattai, Costanza Caraffa, Leone Contini, muSa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Caroline E. Murphy, Esper Postma, Vyjayanthi V. Rao, Neda Saeedi, Angelika Stepken et al. 

Path: Quartiere Isolotto, Southern bank of the Arno river, Ponte all’Indiano, Monumento all’Indiano, Manifattura Tabacchi

Meeting point: 9.00 am in front of Parrocchia della Beata Vergine Maria Madre delle Grazie all'Isolotto, e Piazza dell’Isolotto

Participation only with pre-registration until 29 June, please send a message to: The number of participants is limited.

Please wear solid shoes.


06 July 2022, 6.00 pm 

Round Table

Public Time, Monuments and Ghosts in Florence

Roberto Budini Gattai, Eleni Kamma, muSa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Esper Postma, Neda Saeedi, Vyjayanthi V. Rao, in conversation with Hannah Baader, Costanza Caraffa, and Angelika Stepken

The discussion will take place at Villa Romana, Via Senese 68, 50124 Florence


  • Roberto Budini Gattai, architect and urban designer, Florence
  • Eleni Kamma, artist, international guest artist at Villa Romana 2010/11
  • muSa Michelle Mattiuzzi, artist, International Research Fellow KHI / Villa Romana 2021
  • Esper Postma, artist, International Research Fellow KHI / Villa Romana 2020
  • Vyjayanthi V. Rao, Anthropologist, New York
  • Neda Saeedi, artist, International Research Fellow KHI / Villa Romana 2022


  • Angelika Stepken, director Villa Romana


  • Hannah Baader, art historian, Permanent Senior Research Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz—Max Planck Institute, and leader of the Research Group Transregional Art Histories. Spaces, Actors, Ecologies
  • Costanza Caraffa, art historian, Head of the Photothek at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz—Max Planck Institute



05 – 06 July 2022


Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze, Italia

Villa Romana
Via Senese 68
50124 Firenze, Italia

Registration for the Lecture by Eleni Kamma (5 July)
Please note that Eleni Kamma's lecture has been cancelled (to be rescheduled at a later date). We apologise for any inconvenience.   

Registration for the Public Walk and Conversation (6 July)
Please register until 29 June: The number of participants is limited.


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


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