The two series presented in Hans-Christian Schink’s latest publication Fotografien aus Rom, entitled respectively Aqua Claudia and EUR, were carried out in the course of a year the artist spent at the Villa Massimo in Rome.
The first is dedicated to the antique aqueduct Aqua Claudia, which served to supply the roman capital with water. The overall length from the source to the city-centre added up to approximately 69 kilometres, mostly running underground. For the last 13 kilometers of its route, the water passed through aboveground arch structures into the city. From today’s Parco degli Aquedotti to Porta Maggiore, the remaining fragments can still be found throughout the south-eastern districts of the city, integrated throughout the centuries in the urban pattern. Schink follows the aqueduct through the urban landscape, depicting a cross section of the city’s history.
The Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR as the locals call the quarter) is the name of a district in the South of Rome, which was erected in 1938 under the will of Benito Mussolini in view of the Universal Exposition of 1942, which was supposed to take place there. The urban project, which was suspended due to the Italian intervention in the II World War and the following downfall of the fascist regime, was carried out during the Italian economic miracle of the Fifties, and concluded in the Sixties, at a time when the Italian architecture was opening to the contamination of international tendencies.
In his series, Schink approaches the phenomenon of the EUR from new angles. He resists the lure of the monumental optical axes, grandiose central perspectives and the strict play of light and shade – at least to a small degree. He extends the vanishing points, displaying sculptures from the back and draws attention to banalities. Through his autonomous perspective, he breaks the intended gesticulations from the power of the place by removing the people and the vehicles; instead he shifts the atmosphere into the surreal.
Hans-Christian Schink was previously featured in Fantom Issue 06, Winter 2011. Read it here
Hans-Christian Schink, Fotografien aus Rom. Aqua Claudia - EUR 96 pp., € 34.90 Kehrer Verlag