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VIA APPIA PARK

In the Footsteps of Piranesi

In the Footsteps of Piranesi is a long term photo project from artist/researcher Krien Clevis (PhD), initially part of the multi-disciplinary research project ‘Mapping the Via Appia’. Clevis’ contribution to the project is devoted to this unique historical ‘avenue of memories’, which over the centuries has been subject to constant change. She studies the different perspectives on this street, ranging from its protection to its opening-up, while following the footsteps of countless historical image-makers. “I developed an interest in how they selected a specific angle, perspective or point of view for their representation of the funerary monuments along the road. I wondered what would happen when you try to figure out the coordinates of their position and subsequently take pictures from the exact same spot. What are the changes you observe? How does your new image of the monument and its surroundings compare to the images made in the past? Why did one take up that particular position way back then, and how did the monument’s relation to its immediate surroundings change over time? These questions served as a starting-point for my research on Mile V and VI of the Via Appia Antica in Rome. Along these two miles I have tried for the last four years to establish the exact positions used by architects, painters, draughts men, archaeologists and photographers for making their works of art.” She is not just concerned with how the gems of the famous remaining tombs are located along this memory avenue as it changes into a busy highway, but also with how the relics of this avenue are incorporated into the contemporary urban infrastructure and the natural environment and how they are subject to diverse forms of contemporary use.

Krien Clevis is an artist/curator/researcher (PhD). She is lecturer at the Faculty of the Arts, Maastricht, where she teaches Artistic Research at the Fine Arts department (BA and MA). Recently, she has developed the concept ‘TRANSITION ZONE’ as part of her Postdoc at the Lectoraat Art, Autonomy and Public Sphere (AOK) of the Arts Faculty in Maastricht. This concept is an extension of her promotion research. In her thesis LOCVS (2013) she investigated the notion and quality of ‘place’, and confronted and contaminated this artistic research with archaeological debates about place. Her research combines historical/archaeological, artistic and personal exploration of locations, with the aim of adding new or alternative meaning to layered places. Currently she is working on a new research project ‘Exploded View’ in collaboration with the Interfaculty Research Institute CLUE+/VU University Amsterdam, where she works as an affiliated researcher.