The Hidden Columns

Piazza di Campo Marzio, 46, Roma
Via dei Quattro Santi 20, 00184 RomaVia dei Giubbonari, 61, 00186 RomaVia del Gesu, 61, 00186 Roma -Vicolo delle Grotte, 27, 00186 RomaVia dei Giubbonari, 61, 00186 RomaVia delle Colonnette, 24, 00186 RomaVia Quattro Novembre, 94, 00187 Roma
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The Hidden Columns of Rome

 

2018, ongoing

photography, black and white negative film

 

The huge cultural heritage of the Roman Empire is being kept in archaeological sites all over Europe but is also scattered and displayed at countless locations. For centuries on end the enduring structures and elements of the ancient buildings have been incorporated in later-time buildings. Many Roman columns in different sizes, styles and preservation state can be seen in random locations all over Italy. These pieces from Antiquity are not marked with signs or plates, and remain unnoticed by most of the people passing by. Their inconspicuousness in a city that is an open-air museum puts them between road signs, posters, cars and even garbage bags. The columns which mark out the permanent and the enduring in culture find themselves in the flow of fast-moving changes.

 

During my creative stay in Rome in 2018 I was intuitively attracted by these hidden artefacts. Their presence as anonymous, reticent, silent witnesses of history gives an urban expression of the way the past survives and imperceptibly infiltrates the present world. In my purposeful search, which went on for several months, I found some sixty locations in the historical town enclosed by the Aurelian Walls, in the Jewish ghetto, the Pigna, SantAngelo, Regola, Ponte, Sant Eustachio, Trastevere quarters.

 

I use black-and-white film to bring some distance and timelessness to these anonymous stones and diminish the visual noise of the surrounding environment. The poetic distance of this artistic approach helps me express my sympathy for their unassuming place in the city. The old-fashioned manner of Eugène Atget, Brassaï and Berenice Abbott in framing and choosing viewpoints, helps me present the setting as a calm environment, opened and hospitable to the flâneur’s presence.