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Michel Auder (b. 1944)

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Roman Variations (1991)

Duration: 49'46"

A portrait of Rome that would have made Plutarch proud, Roman Variations was made during a residency at a studio provided by the gallerist Barbara Gladstone.

The piece is structured around variations on recurring motifs large and small. These include fragmented statuary, Italian television, the view from Auder's window, and graphic violence in Renaissance painting. Replete with a cheesy Euro-Pop soundtrack, the piece follows the city's different moods and rhythms from the hustle and bustle of its piazzas and narrow, Vespa-filled streets to the quiet ruminations on the passing of history and civilization afforded through its many ruins.

Whereas Rome unavoidably announces itself to the lens as one big historic landmark, Auder is interested in capturing the city's character as revealed in the unconscious and informal gestures of the city's inhabitants going about their daily lives.