22 - 23

Ovid’s Heroides, from which Ariadne’s story is taken, is a collection of fifteen poems written as letters from the viewpoint of Greek and Roman heroines who have been abandoned by their lovers. Twelve years after writing the Heroides, Ovid was exiled. Relinquo, with text in German, English and Latin, presents this dual motif and portrays the importance and the meaning we find in our sense of place and the bereavement we feel in the loss of place.

The depicted image contains a quote from Ovid: “When steals upon me the gloomy memory of that night which marked my latest hours in the city.”

From this melancholy lament that describes the poet’s final night in Rome, one can imagine the painful memories he carried with him.

Approximately four million tourists visit the Roman Coliseum each year. It’s probably safe to say that most of them take photographs. Professor Alain Gowing, who has created his own photographic artists’ book, is more interested in the ruins, or partial ruins, that most visitors seldom notice. His book, Roman Fragments, concentrates mainly on these lesser-known treasures.

Roman Fragments
Alain Gowing
One of the ways that the Romans commemorated their history was through architecture. Trajan’s Column, for example, memorialized the Roman emperor’s victory in the Dacian Wars. Recalling that the word historia describes the act of looking into the past, one can find in Daniela Deeg and Cynthia Lollis’ Relinquo a double-layered presentation of that definition.

Relinquo is a two-sided accordion book that pairs Ovid’s epistolary poem about the abandonment of Ariadne, the princess of Crete, by Theseus with the story of Ovid’s banishment from Rome by Augustus.
The book is illustrated with original photographic images taken by the artists. The photograph of Rome depicted here, displaying many well-known landmarks, including the Coliseum and the Aqueduct, focuses the viewer on the Roman connection between memory and architecture. These images communicate a deep sense of place and with it, the understanding that our knowledge and memory of the places we experience – whether in actuality or in our imagination – are essential to our sense of self.

Daniela Deeg and Cynthia Lollis

© 2014 Lauren Dudley. All Rights Reserved. Website by BradyArt