Alfonso Artiaco gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Glen Rubsamen's solo show on Thursday the 16th of February at 7.30 pm, the artist will be present.
"The death and disappearance of the palms in Italy over the last year has had a profound affect on the very essence of my relationship with the 'Roman landscape'. An aesthetic idea that started perhaps with Poussin or Claude Lorain and is generally called neo-classicism but evolved in the early nineteenth century to include ideas of nationalism and colonialism. In Rome I have my studio near the pyramid of Sestius and the protestant cemetery so I guess I am still obsessed with neoromanticism and neoclassicism or what is still existing of these concepts and how they relate to the present. As I look at the photos (there are about 100 of them in the series) I am beginning to see them as less tragic and more ironic, they come to represent the end of a misguided botanical experiment, a very problematic colonial one that attempted to link a certain style of landscape with a concept of immanent domain.
The palm trees mixed with pinetrees in the landscape implying a geographical right to conceptually own the whole Mediterranean sea; especially the african and eastern parts. Mussolini's attempt in the 20's and 30's to inscribe upon the landscape a fictitious 'Roman' character. The 1938 Triennale D'Oltramare in Naples with it's quadruple boulevards lined with palms from the Libyan colonies is a good example of this policy. Botanical Mediterraneanism became the fashion in Italy long before tourism culture codified the idea together with leisure and beaches. This Colonialist Mediterraneanism in the teens and twenties had wide ranging influence outside of Italy and France, In LA for example.