The Hidden Columns

Piazza di Campo Marzio, 46, Roma
 Via dell'Arco degli Acetari, 36 00186 RomaVicolo Margana, 12, RomaVia dei Quattro Santi 20, 00184 RomaVia dell'Arco de' Ginnasi, 00186 RomaVia 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 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.

 

The first time when I settled for few months in Rome I was intuitively attracted by these hidden artefacts. I kept visiting the locations and observing the flow of urban life passing by them. 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, I found some sixty locations in the historical town enclosed by the Aurelian Walls, with high density in the Jewish ghetto, the Pigna, SantAngelo, Regola, Ponte, Sant Eustachio, Trastevere quarters.

 

The artistic approach helps me express my feeling about the unassuming presence of the columns in the city. I use black and white film to bring timelessness to these anonymous stones and to let the recent urban context into the frame without distracting it with too much visual noise. The old-fashioned documentary manner emphasises the calm environment and its hospitality and availability to the flâneur’s presence.