For the exhibition “Self Made Urbanism Rome”, ten artists from various countries explored self-produced urban landscapes in the eastern outskirts of the city. In so doing, they partook of a centuries-old tradition that saw this region as an important stop on the Grand Tour of Europe.
The fascination of romantic artists for the Campagna Romana was due to the emptiness of an abandoned cultural landscape, accentuated by the ruins of the aqueducts, medieval watchtowers, and shepherds as a contrast to both Ancient and Baroque Rome. As the city grew, the Campagna Romana changed dramatically. When the area became part of the city in the twentieth century, it attracted above all Italian filmmakers. The fates that played out on the wastelands, barrack-like housing developments, and the new blocks of apartments became emblematic for a neo-realist perspective on the post-war years. The project moves down Via Casilina on a grand tour, exploring the adjacency of once informal, now complete and established settlements and large subsidized housing developments that have become problem areas.