Exhibition space “Zalib” | Via della Penitenza 35, Rome
Opening June 28
Curated by Livia Fabiani
Rome has always been a chaotic, overcrowded and ever-moving city. In the late ‘90s, there was an increase in writings, symbols and letters seen on the train carriages of the Metro B and Ostia Lido lines, a reflection of the metropolitan confusion and out-of-order state lived by these ‘writers’, alongside the population of the capital. The average citizen views the writers as outcasts, the authorities see them as vandals, outsiders do not understand the objectives of their works. The spontaneous act of writing becomes distorted and identified as damage to collective space, a mere attack to the public ownership to denounce, ban and persecute. Yet, the burning souls of those who write do not stop.
Train after train, carriage after carriage, the NSA, ZTK and TRV crews cover every free inch, leaving behind them the sparkles still fiery from their passing presence. The exhibition curated by Livia Fabiani is titled “Floating on Empty” – Fluttuando nel vuoto, and expresses the existence of a personal void in one’s life, which can be filled with hundreds of sign and be saturated with spray paint; an emptiness generated by boredom and by the weight of a society that moves with the flow, which refuses a culture that runs towards the opposite direction, that breaks the mold and that thanks to graffiti art, it found the antidote capable to go against the routine, the cause of the horror vacui.
The photographs presented in the exhibition are a selection of some of the works of the photographer Andrea Rodolico. Throughout the 1998 and 2008, Rodolico documented the actions of the second generation of writers, as they became a point of reference for the youth in both artistic and musical fields. By looking at the shots by Andrea Rodolico, it is possible to see a sense of spontaneity and the creator-destroyer impetus of the souls of the writers; these are personalities that impone their own existence and communicate that they are part of a counterculture made of codes, languages and pseudonyms, a culture that belongs to the streets and to life. Every letter, every piece, every tag imprinted on the surface of a train carriage has had the strength to change the daily scenario and will remain forever alive in these photographs.