FUORI: Outside in Rome, Art Draws Breath

MILAN-BASED EDITOR CARLO ANTONELLI VISITS THE PALAZZO DELLE ESPOSIZIONI IN ROME, AND SENDS OUR EXECUTIVE EDITOR A POSTCARD.

Dear Victoria,

I hope that you are well and ready for this second lockdown. No comment.

But if I am to speak of this, there is a magnificent public work in the 2020 Quadriennale di Roma exhibition, “Fuori.”

It’s a work by an artist known as Norma Jeane – a great artist.

Lights are linked to the artist’s breath by a sensor applied to her chest and specially engineered by researchers at the Politecnico di Milano. The artist will carry the sensor for the entire duration of the show, therefore for three months, everywhere she goes.

It moves you to tears.

Of course it really starts around 8pm, when the city is becoming empty and the subtle strength of the impact is maximized.

Rome is facing the situation with a different calm in comparison to Milan. It’s a historic calm.

The historical ruins here already saw epidemics: Spanish flu, plagues of every kind. They survived every kind of war.

Milan’s only ruins are the bank skyscrapers, opened 5 years ago. That’s the basic difference. You can feel it from the incredible beauty all around you in Rome, traveling through the city.

And then you encounter the breath. The core of our actual condition.

Due to the closure of all museums in Italy due to the new anti-Covid 19- laws, this is the only artwork visible. In Rome and all over the country. And this makes it even more powerful.

Is this a letter from Rome?

Hugs,

Carlo

Related Content

  • Ciao, Milano: Billboard Takeover Rebrands the Post-COVID City

    Milan experienced the earliest and longest COVID lockdown in Europe. As the country moved into "Phase 3" in mid-June, billboards bereft of advertising (it's the first budget to go in any crisis) began to repopulate around Milan – not with the usual product and event marketing, but with imagery reflecting the collective whiplash experienced of a city thrown first indoors, then outside itself. Italian editor CARLO ANTONELLI explains in a letter from Milan. More
  • Deeper