ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME. YES, BUT WHERE EXACTLY?

Participation at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, section Monditalia

 

 

The installation consists in a wood and fabric foldable structure which evokes the infinity symbol; at the center the diagrammatic drawing which gives the title to the presentation; enveloped in the structure are a dark room which contains the audio pieace Keith Wagner/Richard Jarret, a photo boot hosting the video projection If Only I Could Turn My Eyes Inside In and a fold receiving the sculptoreal piece The Lucky Aurelius, all aimed at the direct involvement of the public. All Web Roads Lead to Rome is a later online transposition of the central piece.

Exhibition documentation at the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.

When invited to produce a new work related to a specific place in Italy that could be representative of a socio-political issue at a larger scale I was already working on the idea of the “infinite” links that spring ahead of us on the internet as a metaphor for all the possible non linear connections through which we can attempt at re-configuring ourselves and society. A voice in my head kept repeating:  ”All roads lead to Rome…” I asked Wikipedia whether there is such a place in Rome where all the roads would converge, to find that Capitoline Square is the conventionally designated kilometre zero of Italy, but most importantly the place where emblematic events of the Italian and global civil history overlap in space and time. Capitoline Square can no longer be seen as a point of convergence, but rather as a place intercepted by a network of meanings that travel independently and assume different connotations depending on the observer. Short is the journey that leads from Michelangelo’s masterpiece to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where  a bad copy dwells; brief is the distance between the oldest public art collection - the Capitoline Museums - and the relatively new concept of Europe, the birth of which was sealed within the very same walls that today protect the original statue of Marcus Aurelius, reproduced on the pages of the Italian passport and engraved in the Euro coin. It is a drift - Richard Wagner and Keith Jarret belonging to the same soundtrack and the Capitoline geese ‘birthing’ the Stock Exchange. I imagined moving through Wikipedia, following a choreography and recording every opened link, every digression, every selected content, thinking of each page as if spread next to another on the floor, a personal journey that keeps together the possibility of all the others. The other works presented in the installation are a corollary of this journey.

A conversation with Ana Graovach.

Installation detail at the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.

All Roads Lead to Rome. Yes, But Where Exactly? Ink print on PVC and tracing paper, marking pen on glass, blue tape, 150x250 cm, 2014 (detail)

Detail from digital blueprint.