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William Kentridge Working on Largest Public Work to Date on the River Tiber in Rome

Six Drawing LessonsThe Soho Chronicles : 10 Films by William KentridgeNo, It Is

William Kentridge’s planned frieze along the banks of the river Tiber in Rome, first conceived 14 years ago, will be inaugurated on 21 April, 2016.

The piece, entitled “Triumphs and Laments”, will be Kentridge’s largest public work to date, measuring 550 metres and featuring more than 90 large-scale figures from Roman mythology and history.

A stencil will be created for each figure, and these will be placed on the wall and the area around them “power-washed” to remove dirt, pollution and biological accretions. The resulting frieze will then slowly disappear over the following years as the dirt on the wall build up again.

“Everyone’s triumph is someone else’s disaster,” Kentridge said at a presentation of the frieze in Rome, as reported by The Art Newspaper. “If you’re returning in triumph from a war, it means that other people are returning as slaves.”

The project is part of the organisation Tevereterno, which was set up to revitalise a central stretch of the Tiber River.

Rome: Triumphs and Laments will present a non-chronological history of Rome, exploring the laments that inevitably accompany any triumph; recognizing that one’s triumph is another’s disaster.

The charcoal drawings will be turned into ink drawings – one of which is exhibited in the Italian Pavilion – and the ink drawings transformed into full-scale stencils (one of which is also on view).

Watch a video of site tests for the work:


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Image courtesy of The Brooklyn Rail


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