Abstracting the Textures: Rome

flambar grafitti

  torre argentina

old new termini

Testaccio market detail

tree monti

Testaccio market_crop

grafitti wall monti

William Kentridge

mysterious ruined building

    ostiense ruin

Another layer of languid atmosphere is added to elegant scenes of ancient ruins, in Rome, during the searingly hot summer. In a city like this, so old and beautiful, exploding with history, it is hard to find a way of viewing the environment differently to that of the millions of other tourists and transient people who alight here every year.

Rome is a living, breathing place, vibrant with everyday commerce and activity, which carries on in the background, while in the foreground strangers come and go. The physical and visual environment reflects this. It is interesting to search for an elemental way of seeing the surroundings by observing the textures, from archaic times to contemporary, which exist side by side. This is a way of distilling the essence of the city into something more understandable, a method of assimilating the multitude of sensory cues that come tumbling down upon your head whenever you venture outside.

Taking the role of an observer in this ancient:modern metropolis gives you the opportunity to ponder how similar the people of the past must have been to those of today. We still eat, drink, sleep, work, love, hope and dream (not necessarily in that order) in the same way. Our desires and realities remain unaltered. The fabric of the old and the new, and everything in between, coexisting, delicately, respectfully touching provides that link, which reassures you that over millennia nothing much has changed.

Photos from top: Graffiti in Flambar, Torre Argentina (a place where a lot of cats live), Ancient wall at Termini Station, Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio, landscape in the city (Monti), Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio, graffiti in Monti, William Kentridge ‘Triumphs & Laments’ on wall of Tiber, unknown modern ruin (Via Ostiense)


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