In the year 2006 A.D. Alfred Seiland set out on his project ”Imperium Romanum“. What started as an interesting assignment (by the New York Times Magazine) to accompany the shoot of the HBO Series ”Rome“ in Cinecittà, turned into a thorough, longterm photographic research of the remains of Roman culture, architecture, landscape, and art in the early 21st century.
“Under the supervision of world-class scientists, every piece of prop was literally remade as authentically as possible. So silks from India, brass works from Morocco etc. Were used. Finally, the artifacts took up two-thirds of Cinecittà, and that in breathtaking quality: You had to knock against the backdrops to tell real marble from imitation. You can imagine how fast I decided to photograph only these sensational backdrops,” says the photographer in an interview with journalist Andreas Langen about the beginning of project.
Using his brilliantly imaginative, sometimes ironic photographic language, taking buildings, landscapes, and artefacts of the Roman Empire as a point of reference, Alfred Seiland creates an in-depth visual documentation of the interwoven histories and cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean hemisphere.
All pictures are accompanied by longer explanatory captions which make references to the historical and modern, visible and invisible aspects of the captured places. The introductory essay of the British historian Philip Parkers takes the reader on a literary journey through time and space of the Roman Empire.
“Imperium Romanum” is an epic project, both in concept and scope, that goes back deep into the early roots of a common European and Mediterranean culture.
Exhibition: Rencontres d’Arles 2016 Grand Arles Express Villa Mediterranée, Marseille 24 June – 18 September, 2016 (further exhibitions are in preparation)
Alfred Seiland – Imperium Romanum Opus Extractum II
144 pages, 58 color plates, 29 x 24 cm, essay by Philip Parker, Short texts by Michaela Hüttner, Michael Mackensen, Friederike Naumann-Steckner, Meghan Poplacean, Thomas M. Weber-Karyotakis, Graphic Design: Stapelberg&Fritz, Stuttgart English/French hardcover, paper over board with foil stamped type, July 2016, € 35,- ISBN 978-3-96070-002-9, more information via hartmannprojects.com