Rome is a rich palimpsest of masterpieces, their remains, ruins, and fragments from innumerable historical periods since the Roman Republic, a veritable collection of epochs. But Rome is also a crucible of modernity, a repository for possible futures precisely because it is and has been the seat of so much power, and so many dreams, which together with the authority of its past almost force it to be perpetually radical about the present.
“Adam Nathanial Furman: The Roman Singularity”
16 September – 10 December, 2017
Sir John Soane’s Museum
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London
The Roman Singularity explores Rome as the spatial equivalent of the internet, a place in which all of history, art and style is simultaneous and coextensive, merging into one a- historical and liberating atmosphere of storied objects. Created by Furman for the UK Rome Prize for Architecture 2014–15, while living at the British School at Rome, the project involved unearthing and writing stories about various architectures within the metropolis, as well as architectures elsewhere that were inspired by the city, and souvenirs from it that were exported during the grand tour. New designs were created for each of these, with each being given its own fictional/historical tale.
Walks around the city were compressed into hand drawn Capriccios, and in turn the forms that coalesced in these architectural dalliances were used to create miniature buildings that encapsulated each of the stories, carefully fabricated out of ceramics using a combination of 3D printing and hand crafting. Together they form souvenirs of a contemporary architect’s grand tour, and create an imaginary Roman City in ceramics. Exhibited alongside The Roman Singular will be a new work: Pasteeshio – a sculpture that picks up on Soane’s creative accumulation of historically resonant fragments into larger, evocative compositions.
Made out of 3D-printed glazed ceramics, Pasteeshio combines new technological capabilities with traditional craft, at the same time as it remixes historical forms. Multiple scales are collapsed together, with buildings the size of models, and architectural fragments seemingly the size of buildings, being organised into a vertical totem of classical continuity.
The sculpture will be placed on one side of a window, on whose other side is Soane’s Pasticcio, a full-scale example of his bravura use of historical form, creating a dialogue of forms, scales and materials between the nineteenth and the twenty first centuries.