© Christopher Pelley  2019

 

Mirabilia Urbis Romae

exhibition, Palazzo Delfini, Roma​

Long before Frommer's or the Guide Blue, there was the Mirabilia Urbis Romae, the Marvels of the City of Rome.  First penned in the 1140's, this guide book remained immensely popular well into the 15th century.  With a writing style "unhampered by any accurate knowledge of the historical continuity of the city", it relied instead on myth, gossip and legend, displaying a considerable amount of inventive fantasy in the description of the monuments of Rome.  While in Rome, like some 18th century traveler on the Grand Tour, I have been exploring the monumental, the existential and the ordinary.

The large scale drawings, collages and sculpture of the exhibition express a Piranesian sense of a past and a present that never was, assembled from fragments slightly out of context.  The post-modern tendencies of reference and irony are balanced by a sense of observation and my (subtle) sense of humor.  And like the Mirabilia Urbis Romae the works are less of a descriptive cataloging of the marvels of the City and more of an emotional response to this Eternal Jumble.

This exhibition was installed in Palazzo Delfini, Roma, in April, 2012.

Christopher Pelley   Gesturing This Way and That Way, but Mostly Up   2012

charcoal/paper, frames, ribbon   dimensions variable

Christopher Pelley  Torso Belvedere  2012

charcoal, collage  214cm x 288cm

 Christopher Pelley  Active + Contemplative 2012

 charcoal/paper   214cm x 144cm

Christopher Pelley  Fragments of the True Cross  2012

found objects, wood chips