WILLIAM KENTRIDGE’S TRIUMPHS AND LAMENTS
William Kentridge has created a site-specific installation along the embankment walls of the Tevere (Tiber) between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini, an 1800′ expanse. The work is heroic in scale and concept and is recognizable as distinctly within his oeuvre. It was achieved through power-washing the walls using a process of “reverse graffiti”, in which masking was used to protect the areas where the images would emerge and the areas around it were cleaned. Fourteen years in the making, the project was completed in Spring 2016 and will continue until it fades or layers of grime and dust accumulate around it. I’ve seen pictures of the frieze from when it was first installed and I felt that the re-integration and softening of the image a year later serves rather than degrades the mural.
The project was sponsored by the nonprofit, Tevereterno, a multidisciplinary cultural project dedicated to the establishment and ongoing stewardship of the first and largest public space for site-specific contemporary art on Rome’s urban riverfront, called Piazza Tevere. Architect Tom Rankin was the director and impetus behind the project.