In an age in which corrugated cardboard is the material of choice to build temporary housing for goods on their way to consumers, often to be reused by those who lost their way, to build a home, it was used on April 6 and 7th, 2009 A.D., to rebuild old Rome anew within the confines of Mannahatta, island of many hills. The rebuilding of Rome evolved in the second box of the seven that make the New Museum of Contemporary Art on the new Bowery, the foudroyantly new cultural capital of NYC.
Immigrants, and ancestors of immigrants and various diasporas joined hands to reenact old Rome’s architectural development. The builders crammed the time span from Romulus’ and Remus’ days to the destruction of the city, several centuries later, into 24 hours, and half a gallery. Tape, hot glue, various scales and levels of accuracy were applied by Gabriel, Seung, Lisa, Steven, Katherine, Dylan, Matt, Nayeema, Sam, Mariechen, myself, and several others, under the soft-spoken guidance of LA artist Liz Glynn.
Timed to coincide with the opening of the “The Generational: Younger than Jesus” exhibit, a Katrina of self-appointed Visigoths, Christians and pagan Godzillas gleefully razed this recreation in two minutes flat… Gone again were the Forum, the Coliseum, the Temple of Saturn and those dedicated to other gods of Roman lore, and the arches honoring dead emperors as idols. Gone again was old St. Peter.
Gone again… to be rebuilt, again? To be rebuilt elsewhere? Again, by inquilines?
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