Josef Koudelka: Teatro del tempo

About This Project


Mankind is to a city what flesh is to a skeleton. Without it, those
buildings and walls are the spectral frames of a chest radiograph. This is
the stripped city as seen by photographer Koudelka, who ambushed it at dawn when it was mere anatomy, divested of its citizens and empty, nothing more than expired history, a building tired of accommodating.


I see the walls, arches

columns, statues, lone

towers of our ancestors,

but I do not see the glory


This frank tirade came from the mouth of a disappointed Leopardi. He saw
no glory because it was covered and encumbered by life. Life, leaning against the walls, sprawling over monument and altar, squeezed into the Forums, camped out beneath the aqueducts. (…) The photographer, and above all
his foreign gaze, uncovers this. (…) He waits until they are out of shot and then focuses at once, like a chemical reagent, on the brazen glory, the chronic, celestial, dried-up leprosy of the city of Rome.

Text by

Erri De Luca

MACRO, XV edition