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