Myth Maker - Fabulae Romanae

Date: 2012
Ref: 7000.07
Materials: Hand knitted wool, webbing, nickel, clips
Dimensions: Each 180 x 65 x 80cm
Exhibition history: 2012 MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts Rome
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta and ZegnArt. Photography Paul Bevan

Fabulae Romanae is the title of a filmed-performance and a major exhibition of Lucy and Jorge Orta's site-specific performances in the city of Rome. In the film, the artists depict a symbolic excursus across Rome through the eyes of a series of ethereal characters –genius loci–. These spirits draw from archaeological and historical research, and observations on the cultural and social map of the city and interrogate social, anthropological and philosophical themes.

The spirits perform intimate rituals in the streets and monuments of Rome, they become contemporary sentinels, who silently interact with the city’s landscape. Here we see the Myth Maker dressed in idols knitted out of wool, covered with masks: the she-wolf mother of Romulus and Remus and the human skull of the fated brother. They hang like the woollen dolls that were attached on the doors of houses during the Compitalia. We see the Myth Maker performing its ritual on the Palatine, the hill on which stand the ruins and vestiges of those dwellings that the spirits have protected over the course of time, leaving for us the sight of their biscuit-colored walls, immersed in greenery, woven in the diamonds of “opus reticulatum.”

Throughout their meanderings, the spirits are guided by a poem written by eco-poet Mario Petrucci specifically to accompany their journey. The verses narrated in Italian and English weave story-telling layers into each scenario. "Each skull  is a cave where  stories vie as wolves or murderous twins. Such dominant plots up  here – the woman  within this lesser fiction  I am…"

Fabulae Romanae was commissioned by ZegnArt, for the artists solo exhibition at the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts Rome (22 March – 23 September 2012). It was supported by the University of the Arts London Centre for Sustainable Fashion, with the assistance of designers Mio Jin, Lara Torres, Oliver Ruuger, Sum Yu Li.

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