Accumulations and stratifications, together with a special light, are the basis of the endless mystery of Rome. No city in the world has this incredible stratification, has a well-defined center, walled up, and has continuous contaminations between different ages. All this has made sure that every Rome Commission always had in store unexpected surprises, in its views and in the scenes of daily life. A city often “immobile” from many points of view, is actually revealed full of surprises.
After the end of the first edition of FOTOGRAFIA, in June 2002, I started to think that a festival that takes place in Rome could not refrain from an open dialogue between photographers and the city, with everything that its charms and history represent. Shortly after, I met Josef Koudelka to whom, the wave of enthusiasm for the success of the first festival, I offered to work in the city of Rome. Koudelka accepted and so, in a simple but demanding way it was born the first Rome Commission.
It is precisely the beauty of Rome to be so large as to allow photographers the freedom to tough comparisons, not to put to the service of the city but to bring other meanings belonging to their aesthetic and their experience. It is a sought confrontation that comes from far away, a legacy of the Grand Tour, an original confrontation where contemporary authors run through the city with their languages, trying to give back things never seen before, combining their insights with the “imagined city” of history, bringing here their worlds.
This work and this collection are born with a specific intention: to build around the vision of Rome, an archive of images created by the greatest authors in the world. It is nice to know that by now it has become a status, an important step in the work of many photographers. It is nice to know that an experience that goes on for fifteen years now becomes a unique and original collection: Rome is the only city in the world to have a Public “commission” of such long duration and great freedom.