Sara VanDerBeek creates a site-specific project as the result of a summer visit in the Italian capital. Through this opportunity, VanDerBeek broadened her ongoing research into the relationship between photography and sculpture by observing the archaeological layers of the city. Her exhibition at Foundation Memmo is reflective of her ongoing exploration of the idea of an “Eternal City” and more specifically the relationship between images and objects. Referencing the synthesis of times, cultures, and aesthetics found in Rome, VanDerBeek focuses on the continual transition that has occurred most dramatically in Rome, but in all cities, spaces, objects and individuals over time.
The exhibition includes a combination of sculptures and images. VanDerBeek photographed in America and Italy with a focus on surfaces and spaces resonant of human gestures and activity yet abstracted by the close focus of the camera. The images exist as documents but with certain works in their scale and color they also oscillate in purpose and form in the relationship to the sculptures. The images at times act as a key to their inspiration – a fragment of an ancient sculpture is pictured in one – and at others they act as background, or like a narrative memory superimposing its color upon the monochromatic forms of the sculptures. The sculptures are created primarily in response to VanDerBeek’s experience of the city of Rome and classical Roman art, yet both the sculptures and images explore her ongoing interest in the visual continuum of our existence, in the eternal and universal patterns used by all cultures throughout time.
The concentric forms, primary shapes, and repeating lines used in the sculptures are based upon patterns, and the visual rhythms of both ancient and contemporary cultures. In their creation and their arrangement in the exhibition space, both the images and the sculptures are intended to feel as though they are shifting from presence to absence, from past to present and from present to past.
October 31 – November 24, 2012
Fondazione Memmo – Scuderie di Palazzo Ruspoli – Via Fontanella Borghese 56b, Rome