19 May – 24 June 2018
In May, artist John Kippin presents the first of two exhibitions at the new Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art. Romanitas presents 20 new large-scale photographs made in Rome since 2012. The series looks at the ‘EUR’ zone of Rome, which was built by the interwar fascist regime as its new city centre, and to make their far-right political ideas permanent. Romanitas asks how buildings and cities affect us, and how they carry ideas, echoing Churchill’s idea that “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”.
The series was begun just before the rise of far-right parties across Europe, from the Northern League in Italy and the Front National in France to Golden Dawn in Greece. We might ask: is this what our future, or that of Europe, might yet look like? Yet beneath giant classical columns and statues, and in front of sleek modern buildings, ordinary life goes on. Couples flirt, marry, and raise children. People go about making a living. And they relax, even when overshadowed by monumental follies.
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