Roman Road is delighted to present TEMPO AL TEMPO. ART FROM ANNO DOMINI TO RONI HORN, a group exhibition curated by Domingo Milella and antiques specialist Bruno Botticelli. The show is born out of the roots of Milella’s practice, from his interest in time and its shapes, from antiques, and also the contemporary art of his fellow colleagues, mentors and friends. Featuring specially selected pieces from as early as AD 1 alongside seminal pieces by artists of today, the presentation will explore these connections and sensual bridges as a dialogue in time.
The gallery room will comprise Milella’s Index 2004/2011, a compendium of 30 small images alongside a selection of recent works from his Index 2012/2013. The uniform display of his pictures, displayed in a mosaic grid, will create repetitions of places that show the slow process of time and where old and new paradigms collide. As if looking at the installation, a painting by Bartolomeo Vivarini from circa 1460 will be facing the index. Saint Catherine of Alexandria is easily recognised by the spiked wheel that she holds beside. Martyred in the early 4th Century, the daughter of Constus was once condemned to death on a breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it broke.
In the adjoining house, open to the public for the first time, the display will focus on works that represent fragments and traces of time. A piece by Darren Almond titled Perfect Time (7 x 3) (2012) is imbued with a mystical quality; composed of twenty-one digital flip clocks with mismatched numerals, the time is unreadable, yet still visually and sonically resounds with each passing minute. This work will be in conversation with a swan of aged white marble; once Roman sculpture of Leda, the swan rests headless and shapeless with only its torso and feathers on view. No head, no legs, just a body: the body of time, broken and unable to fly.
Diversely, a large photograph by Thomas Struth taken from his New Pictures from Paradise (1998-2007), inspired by Mayan culture and its relationship to nature, will position the viewer in layers of forest surrounded by nothing but greenery. As we look forward into the screen of foliage we are aroused by the heightened awareness of the here and now, facing a somewhat melancholy reflection as to whether such utopian thinking may be possible in our contemporary age.
Roni Horn’s Untitled (Weather) (2011) will present a collection of portraits of a woman bathing in the hot springs in Iceland. In each of the uniformly sized photographs, the subject’s facial expressions are slightly different, reflecting the subtly changing weather conditions around her. Alongside these five images will feature an almost completely erased surface of a piece of a Roman sarcophagus, where two deities appear without physiognomy; this piece of travertine once lay on the bottom of a river in Italy for more than a few centuries. Stone, water and light: the fluidity of time as a subject of shapes.
By marrying together pieces from contemporary and ancient art, this investigation will vitally instil an inspiring basis of new and historical interpretation. TEMPO AL TEMPO. ART FROM ANNO DOMINI TO RONI HORN opens on Wednesday 4 November from 6pm to 9pm and is on display until 18 December 2015.