As part of the exhibition “The Architectura Eloquentia” at Contemporary Cluster, a project involving several artists and designers, I produced Crossing. A series of mural productions in which the rationalist and geometric aesthetics is compared to the original Baroque frescoes.
The aim is to ask the viewer the question of sedimentation and stratification, a theme that strongly influences the city of Rome. Palazzo Cavallerini Lazzaroni, built by the architect Giovanni Antonio De Rossi in 1676 and an example of Roman Baroque. Has a stratified history that goes back to the 20th century, with an architectural intervention by Mario Fiorentino dating back to the 1950s.
It is this evident layering of different stories, people and aesthetics that guided me to work on the concept of “crossing” (in graffiti slang: cover a painting with another painting).
Specifically, some interventions are light and reveal the Giacinto and Ludovico Gimignani frescoes, still visible under the layer of white paint. But in other cases the interventions are heavier and more dramatic, as if they wanted to hide rather than reveal.
I felt that this space really had so much to say. I couldn’t just work in an ordinary way. I felt the need to bring out the history of the place. to interact with the frescoes now covered by white painting, working not “on” architecture but “through” architecture, going beyond the formal contmporary muralism, actually emptied of its visual power.
The exhibition was set up during 2 days of workshops together with the Multimedia Arts & Design students of Rufa – Rome University of Fine Arts, supervised by Caterina Tomeo, digital arts curator and professor.
Ph: Giorgio Benni