Triumphs and Laments
Images courtesy the Kentridge Studio
'This project, a frieze on the walls of the Lungotevere between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini, a distance of some 500 metres, was many years in the making. It was promoted, pushed and brought to fruition by Kristin Jones, who long had the idea and a wish for the bank of the Tiber river to be a space for public art. The work really started out of a sense of my own ignorance. I knew on the one hand, as we all do, of the glories of Rome – the Basilica of St Peter on the Trastevere side of the river – and I was also aware much later, maybe in my twenties, of the existence of the ghetto – the enclosed section for Jews on the other side of the river, about a kilometre down from St Peter’s. I had never thought of them as connected and I suppose it was a gap in my knowledge the that the establishment of the ghetto and the growth of St Peter’s had happened at the same time. What I had known of Rome was the great cathedrals, the glories of the Baroque and the starting shock of the project was that realization that the ghetto was actually a project of modernity. If you were to take a straight line from St Peter’s to the ghetto, it would more or less run straight through the section of the Tiber on which the work was done.'
Text Courtesy Kentridge Studio