Vedute: (Italian: “view”) detailed drawing, painting, or etching that depicts a city, town, or other place through selective realism and idealized fictions. Beginning in the early seventeenth-century, ‘vedute’ scenes of Rome were produced, and re-produced, for purchase and dissemination by its visitors.
Rome is obsessed with its historical images and overwhelmed by its culture of tourism: the frantic touring of the city with little thought of its history or identity beyond the photographic image as its souvenir. Its landscape is characterized by disorienting juxtapositions, as a historical canon refit for our contemporary use (or misuse).
Vedute Fotografiche di Roma Contemporanea contributes to a tradition of documenting the uncontrollable reimaging and reimagining of the city and its artifacts, proposing an alternative reality of untouched and isolated monuments brought into beautiful ruin by their own design; a Beaux-Arts fantasy. Photography becomes a method, not unlike the eighteenth-century etching, to study Rome as a contemporary version – and current reading – of its history.
These photographs attempt to reproduce Rome as a set of identifiable, although not necessarily contextual, images. In photographing the sites to understand their classical fragments or parody and caricature, Vedute Fotografiche di Roma Contemporanea denies Rome of its ideal representation and rescripts the postcard image as a set of complex juxtapositions and unexpected adjacencies. The project advances the critique of the vedute-style, contextualizing notions of the classical and the antique in contrast to the peculiar reuse of the city.
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