“Roma Caput Mundi” is a distinctive exhibit by Sicilian photographer Davide Bramante on Rome as Eternal City and Historic Capital. The show’s presence bestows the honour of Rome’s ancient title as Centre of the World upon the up-and-coming Lower East Side. This legendary neighbourhood would be hard pressed to stake such a claim, even though the “LES” is New York City’s focal point for history, culture, and creativity. Well, there’s a first time for everything, and if Mark Miller achieves his goal, all eyes (and feet) will encircle his gallery. Instead of coming and conquering, however, Miller invites visitors to tour and transact.
Bramante says, “The photos featured in the exhibit combine anywhere from 4 to 9 images, shooting several analog shots on the same frame using common film such as 35 millimeter.” Bramante’s vision, motive, and approach coalesce into groundbreaking creativity with this new photographic project. Each photo consists of a mesmerizing montage, blending images of the ancient and the contemporary city. The result is a poetic and passionate vision of the Italian capital — an archaeological scrapbook of the Eternal City across the millennia, a composite architectural portrait.
Taking photos of Rome and then “enclosing its essence into a mirror of contemporary society” becomes for Bramante a challenge and tribute to the Eternal City and his Motherland. He provides a cutting edge look at the classics, rendered as though a single image, as if it were a pure thought. The result is a fascinating meditation on the ideal concept of the Eternal City. “My photographing represents exactly my way of remembering, thinking, dreaming, hoping, and imagining. Everything overlaps.” says Bramante. “Davide’s photography showcases and celebrates Rome as a historic symbol of cultural, economic, and social value,” Miller remarks at his two-level gallery.
Bramante explains the inspiration for the title of the exhibit along with one of its featured works: “I saw a seal that read ‘Roma caput mundi regit orbis frena rotundi.’ Frederick of Swabia, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1152 proudly wore that hallmark message commemorating the Classical Period.” The seal’s resounding tribute literally translates as “Rome, Capital of the World, holds the reins of the round planet.”
Presenting the project in New York City completes the concept of the artist. Bramante observes: “If Imperial Rome was the first cosmopolitan mecca, New York is the contemporary symbol of modern metropolis.” Bramante sees other parallels: “Though so very different from each other, New York and Rome are the most mythologized and most photographed cities in the world.” Miller appreciates the historical lay of the land. “Rome’s value extended infinitely beyond its territory,” he says. “Now that presence can be found on Orchard Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a neighbourhood befitting of Bramante’s approach to combining the historic and the hip.”
Bramante’s artistic ability takes risks and wins. Rome’s charm and power forcefully emerge and merge, dissipating and dispelling any stereotype.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 from 6 to 9pm
Exhibition Dates: March 5-31, 2013
Hours: Sunday – Friday, 12 noon to 6:00 p.m., and by appointment.
Mark Miller Gallery, 92 Orchard Street between Broome and Delancey St. New York, NY 10002, (212) 253-9479.
firstname.lastname@example.org, Free and open to the public.
Mark Miller Gallery is a groundbreaking contemporary art gallery on 92 Orchard Street since 1998 that has recently been featured in NY1, New York Observer, BBC, Fox 5, DNA Info, New York Times, PIX 11, People Magazine. http://www.markmillergallery.com/
Davide Bramante was born in Siracusa, Sicily, where he returned after spending 13 years in Turin, Rome, Bologna, Milan, and New York. Since 1991 he has worked with video, installations, and photography. A graduate in Fine Arts at Accademia Albertina (Turin) and at Accademia Fidia (Cosenza), Bramante has been a visiting artist at Franklin Furnace Foundation (New York) and exhibited with solo shows in Naples, Rome, Pescara, Modica, Florence, Isernia, Milan, Catania, Palermo, Bologna, Cairo, Lisbon, and Amsterdam. He has also exhibited at various International Art Fairs including, Art Basel, Art Cologne, Artissima Turin, MiArt Milan, MINT Milan, Arte Fiera Bologna, ArtVerona, ARCO Madrid, FIAC Paris, SH Shanghai, CIGE Beijing, Arte Lisboa, Art Palm Beach, Florida, Paris Photo, Scope Basel, Scope Miami.
Mark Miller is the founder and owner of Miller Manhattan Property Group and the Mark Miller Gallery. Miller also served as President of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (BID). The Miller family has been in New York City for seven generations since 1746. Four of those generations have worked in the Lower East Side.