Excavations at the villa of the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasian. Part of a project of enhancement and salvaging of the archaeological area, entrusted to the architect studio Benedetti-Di Martino by the municipality of Castel Sant Angelo, Rieti.
The project involves the flooding of an old vaulted room. The water ripples follow a preordained design, creating interference patterns that become clear with the help of oblique lighting effects, like reflections that stand out against a hanging veil. From these very beams of light comes the sound that envelops those who stay to watch the evolutions of the water surface. 2012...
This work was inspired by the memory of history, a memory which identified the possibility of a kind of aquatic set design within the very ruins; this idea is supported not only by Publius Terentius Varro Atacinus's renowned testimony, but also by clues found right there at the archaeological site. The work captures both suggestions of this, and some passed down in Latin literature: those that portray a sublime vision of the natural elements, often involving the embodiment of tightly connected divine figures, arranged in a sort of complex web of forces subtending human life and all its philosophical, religious, and artistic expressions.
Was the body of water thought to have covered the area, now known as "Pozzo Secco" (Dry Well), the famous lake Cotilia? Was it the location of the island sacred to the nymphs, the "commotiles" who lived there?
Peppered with caves, spring waters, thermal baths, lakes, lagoons, ponds, these forests were sacred to the goddess Vacuna, protector of both the trees and the springs.
Poetry often has the task of taking the unknowable complexity of reality, and attempting to bring to the surface some sign of it - some evidence of the secret life of things. Even something as simple as ripples moving across water conceals an order that is inherent in the divine, or in science, or more simply, in a look, or in the sounds we hear.