Collecting artifacts, detritus, and vernacular elements - the uncelebrated residue of culture - illuminates and reveals a place to me. It enables me to remember, communicate, interpret and eventually “conquer” a place where I am unable to speak the language or claim citizenship. Curating the subculture of culture has been my personal methodology of insight. Through diagnosis, documentation, design, drawing, photography and editing I attempt to uncover the transcendent in the banal.
My 6-month design fellowship gave me the time, the space, the intellectual companionship and the city of Rome to mine, recycle, distill, decipher and interrogate a city that is impossible to fully unravel. The images below reflect hours of daily experiments in the studio in this pursuit.
BLUE LARARIUM, a shrine to the fountains of Rome, is a composition of (blue) utilitarian objects including 36 samples of Roman fountain water collected and documented by the artist and the current fellows at The American Academy. The shrine is illuminated with a filmic collage/sketchbook of collected sounds and images all alluding to Rome with its fountains as its catalyst. The title refers to the Lar Familiaris, a domestic guardian spirit who cared for the welfare and prosperity of a household. In Roman households, the lararium, a shrine to the Lar Familiaris, usually stood near the hearth or in a corner of the atrium where the inhabitants of the household placed utilitarian objects and personal artifacts and mementos, their way of paying respect to these objects of personal significance. The film is projected on the pages of the book, The Fountains of Rome by H.V. Morton. The 36 water samples are placed on the front cover of a duplicate book placed symmetrically above the lower projection.