In the next few days, installation will begin on William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome. This epic 550-meter frieze along the banks of the Tiber River will feature images of war, love, oppression and resilience … a non-chronological history of the Eternal City in all its glory and all its tragedy. We want you to take part in this exciting project which will open to the public in April and continue on view for years to come until it gradually fades back to its original state.
Kentridge’s charcoal drawings will be turned into ink drawings, and the ink drawings will be made into full-scale stencils. The travertine embankments of Piazza Tevere – between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini – will be washed around the stencils, leaving the darkened marks of pollution and organic growth on the high stone walls, to create a silhouetted procession of iconic figures, heroes and villains, drawn from across history to explore the many sorrows and joys of the Eternal City across time.
The frieze will open on April 21-22, 2016, the Natale di Roma holiday -- the birthday of Rome, and mark a new spring for the city with a series of free performances on the Tiber. The celebrations will include the premiere of a theatrical program created in collaboration with internationally acclaimed composer Philip Miller, featuring live shadow play and two processional brass bands performing against the backdrop of the frieze. Over 60 volunteers will take part joining a multicultural ensemble of soloists and musicians. It will be madness!
We invite you to support what is William’s most ambitious work to date and the largest public contemporary art project that Rome has seen!
Be part of a major world art event. The eighty figures that make up Triumphs and Laments will be 10 meters high and created via “reverse graffiti,” in which large, figurative stencils will be placed on the river's embankment and the wall then power-washed around them. Creation through erasure. To bring this masterpiece fully to life, we are asking you to get involved here and now. This Kickstarter campaign will raise the $80,000 required to complete the final ten triumphs and laments. We’re offering many wonderful rewards for contributions ranging from $5 to $10,000, including panoramic photographs of the frieze and an exclusive tour of Triumphs and Laments with William himself! You can even “adopt” one of the final 10, and receive a limited edition print by this celebrated artist. There are other ways for you to get involved as well. Become one of 200 volunteers working on the project; or take part in the opening night musical procession created by William and his long-time collaborator composer Philip Miller.
SOME GREAT REWARDS
Triumphs and Laments will be hosted in Piazza Tevere, the first open-air space for contemporary art right in the heart of Rome presented by TEVERETERNO. Piazza Tevere exploits an underutilized, central section of the Tiber River in historic Rome between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini. A ready-made arena, hidden within the fantastic serpentine meander of the river.
ARTIST William Kentridge is recognized internationally for his powerfully evocative and compelling work. Kentridge’s exhibitions and grand-scale, staged performances stun and thrill audiences throughout the world. Best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films, his exhibitions include, among many others, a recent retrospective organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and at Castello di Rivoli, MAXXI, and Villa Medici al Madre a Capodimonte in Italy. Represented by Lia Rumma in Italy, Marian Goodman in New York, and Goodman Gallery in South Africa, Kentridge has staged and produced major theatrical and operatic works throughout the world, including a production of Dmitri Shostakovich's The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; and a production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Festival d’Aix, and in 2011 at La Scala in Milan. Commissioned public works include site-specific sculpture and mosaics recounting the history and life of the city of Naples created for the city’s Toledo Metro Station; and Firewalker, a 10m-tall sculpture created in collaboration with Gerhard Marx for his home city of Johannesburg.
COMPOSER Cape Town composer Philip Miller has worked with some of the most innovative filmmakers and visual artists to emerge from South Africa, collaborating extensively over the past decade with internationally acclaimed artist, William Kentridge. He has composed music for the soundtracks to many South African and international film and television productions, as well as producing a number of award-winning albums. Miller’s latest release is The Refusal of Time, his composition for Kentridge’s multimedia installation, The Refusal of Time, which premiered in 2012 at Dokumenta13, Germany; later traveling to the Tate Modern, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR In 1983, while on a Fulbright Fellowship to Rome, artist Kristin Jones was struck by a section of the Tiber River that she describes as “grand, with a sense of majesty and loneliness.” A decade later, as a Rome Prize winner, Jones envisioned TEVERETERNO – where contemporary artists of all disciplines could collaborate on staging spectacular events to draw Romans and visitors to the banks of the Tiber.
PRESENTING PARTNER TEVERETERNO is a multidisciplinary non-profit organization whose mission is to reactivate the river in the heart of Rome. It aims to achieve this through the establishment and ongoing stewardship of Piazza Tevere, the first and largest dedicated public space for site-specific contemporary art on Rome’s urban riverfront.
TEVERETERNO envisions the Tiber River as a vital, urban park in the heart of Rome; Piazza Tevere site is the laboratory for the cultivation of public interest. Through the creation of sustainable solutions for access and public use, a commitment to long-term maintenance, and regular public programming, the riverfront will become a destination
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER THE OFFICE performing arts + film is an independent curator and production company based in New York and London. The company has produced William Kentridge’s theatrical works in the US and abroad since 2013. It also works in ongoing partnerships with festivals, venues, and institutions, including Mass MOCA, Celebrate Brooklyn and the Sundance Film Festival.
The Telegraph. March 21, 2016 "Monumental figures of emperors and warriors etched onto embankments of Tiber in Rome"
Travel + Leisure. March 17, 2016. "This is Rome's Largest Public Artwork Since the Sistine Chapel"
Creator's Project. March 16, 2016. "Reverse Graffiti Reveals Rome's History"
Art Observed. March 3, 2016. "William Kentridge Launching Kickstarter to Fund Tiber River Installation"
Hyperallergic. August 31, 2015. “William Kentridge Plans Massive, Vanishing Mural in Rome.”
Brooklyn Rail, Web Exclusive. February 5, 2015. “Kristin Jones with Ann McCoy.”
The Art Newspaper. August 25, 2015. “William Kentridge plans epic frieze for River Tiber.”
Books LIVE. August 27, 2015. “William Kentridge Working on Largest Public Work to Date on the River Tiber in Rome.”
Please visit www.triumphsandlaments.com for more info. Triumphs and Laments is presented by TEVERETERNO and executive produced by THE OFFICE performing arts + film.
We are grateful for the support we’ve received thus far from Alitalia e Etihad Airways, The Westin Excelsior Rome, Galleria Lia Rumma, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery, Agnes Gund, Brenda R. Potter, the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Society of North America, Illy, and Guidebook.
Risks and challenges
With public art comes logistical risks such as weather and, in this case, flooding! The Tiber River is known to break its banks during the spring, which would make work on the frieze unsafe. We have factored in extra time with the possibility of extra teams brought in to assist with the installation of the frieze. The premiere on April 21-22 is a rain or shine event and we hope that the Roman Gods will shine upon us with good weather.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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