Russell Maret and Notes of an Alphabetical Fetishist

http://fpba.com/blog/?p=748
As many of you know from reading this blog, Russell Maret has won this year’s Rome Prize in Design, an endowed residency awarded each year to fifteen emerging artists to ‘refine their artistic aptitudes’ while living at the American Academy on the Janiculum, Rome’s highest hill. Maret will document and map all of the in situ lettering in the accessible roman catacombs and will evaluate the variant lettering styles he finds there. His project, The Subterranean Antique Letter, will be documented in a forthcoming monograph as part of his series of books titled Swan & Hoop.
While we look forward to this book, we can follow Russell’s Roman experiences in a new blog called Notes of an Alphbetical Fetishist. The first installment traces Russell’s first walk from the Janiculum to the catacombs and is an evocative record of his many impressions of the complexity of the place:
‘It is disorienting traveling through Rome. Sight, sound, space, and time occur at continually alternating paces and scales: the tearing sound of Vespas punctuating the slow trickle of fountains; the exuberant plan of monumental space surrounded by crowded, spider-veined streets; the incessant kaleidoscope of the antique, medieval, baroque, and modern; the collusion of the urban and the rural. Very simply: there are no straight lines here. As if to prove this point, I chose a circuitous route for our first walk to the catacombs.’
If you heard echoes of Lawrence Durrell in these lines, you aren’t the only one. Be sure to bookmark Notes of an Alphbetical Fetishist (or subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed) and look forward to The Subterranean Antique Letter.

Philocalus

As many of you know from reading this blog, Russell Maret has won this year’s Rome Prize in Design, an endowed residency awarded each year to fifteen emerging artists to ‘refine their artistic aptitudes’ while living at the American Academy on the Janiculum, Rome’s highest hill. Maret will document and map all of the in situ lettering in the accessible roman catacombs and will evaluate the variant lettering styles he finds there. His project, The Subterranean Antique Letter, will be documented in a forthcoming monograph as part of his series of books titled Swan & Hoop.

While we look forward to this book, we can follow Russell’s Roman experiences in a new blog called Notes of an Alphbetical Fetishist. The first installment traces Russell’s first walk from the Janiculum to the catacombs and is an evocative record of his many impressions of the complexity of the place:

‘It is disorienting traveling through Rome. Sight, sound, space, and time occur at continually alternating paces and scales: the tearing sound of Vespas punctuating the slow trickle of fountains; the exuberant plan of monumental space surrounded by crowded, spider-veined streets; the incessant kaleidoscope of the antique, medieval, baroque, and modern; the collusion of the urban and the rural. Very simply: there are no straight lines here. As if to prove this point, I chose a circuitous route for our first walk to the catacombs.’

If you heard echoes of Lawrence Durrell in these lines, you aren’t the only one. Be sure to bookmark Notes of an Alphbetical Fetishist (or subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed) and look forward to The Subterranean Antique Letter.

Above: Russell in front of the Damasian inscription.

— Paul Razzell

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