Superintendent for Cultural Heritage of Roma Capitale
What would an archaeologist of the future say? If in 2000 years a researcher would start investigating our epoch through our daily artefacts, what would his judgment be about our world of plastic, cellophane and concrete?
He would imagine a society where the utility is not based on the continuity but the exhaustion of the function. A society that not only consumes what it needs, but also what the momentary taste invites. A society that changes cars as easily as a shirt and throws away telephones and televisions as soon as new models arrive.
A society on the move, or a liquid society as Zygmunt Bauman would say, saturating itself with colorful and appealing accessories which it produces at great speed.
Because we are what we use. The bottom line is that man always needs the same kind of objects. Bottles, bowls, vases, cups and lamps. And man’s evolution goes hand in hand with the aesthetic and functional evolution of these objects.
The archaeologist would have to classify and arrange radios, headphones, smartphones, tablets, and he would also have to understand the functions which all of these objects have in our information society. The excavation would be only the first step, he would then have to reconstruct their mechanism and imagine their social function. Through his investigation he would come to the image of the technological man whose prosthesis would allow him to stay connected to the world 24 hours a day, moving in space while staying on the same spot at his desk, in order to acquire knowledge without touching and make inventions through simulation. This is the intuition of Rósa Gísladóttir: to represent man through his artefacts.
Like a modern archaeologist this artist is investigating the man of the past in order to understand the man of today. She is investigating amphoras, patellae, bowls, columns and re-constructs them with appropriate materials: dishes of plexiglass, patellae of plexiglass, watercolours and light, elaborating them into installations that recall the Roman originals. The patella presented in lightened plexiglass, the Calix or the Kantharos in Jesmonite (an industrial material that can simulate marble as well as wood or metal) or the columns constructed with plastic bottles.
The contemporary facing the past in a reunion that does not express the distances but the continuity from man of the past to the man of future. From the protagonist of history and the protagonist of technology. An ideal leap that regains through the art the space and the time that we thought lost forever.