Curated by Wunderkammern

Critical essay by Elena Giulia Rossi

On 17th of March 2012, Wunderkammern presented the first Italian solo show by the famous American urban artist Mark Jenkins, with the project Living Layers in collaboration with MACRO (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma).

Living Layers set off from the need to explore the depth of the territory and to read its cultural heritage, it Living Heritage (UNESCO 2003) composed of those practices, representations, expressions, learning and knowledge that the community recognises as part of its own living cultural heritage.

Starting in February 2012, the artist Mark Jenkins worked in Rome interpreting Living Layers through his innovative artistic interventions that created a mature consciousness towards contemporary art and the capacity to interpret reality and the current world. The result of his research was presented in Wunderkammern Gallery on the 17th of March 2012.

Through his work, the artist means to trigger a reaction which is foreign to the conventional actions and uniformity of common behaviour, which is unfamiliar yet personal, both from a perceptual and emotional point of view. Urban theatrical sets to interpret the Living cultural Heritage of Rome. Temporary installations with a bewilderment and surprising effect.

Born in 1970 in Washington DC, Mark Jenkins is internationally known for his unearthly sculptures which have peopled cities throughout the world. An urban stage which hits the passer-by. Sculptures placed in uncommon situations and positions, embedded into the space of everyday life create a surreal and enigmatic landscape. His work has been exhibited from New York to Barcelona, from Tokyo to Moscow, and shown by the Carmichael Gallery (Los Angeles) and Lazarides Gallery (London) and Pompidou Centre (Paris). He collaborated with Greenpeace in 2008 and curated the festival Les Grandes Traversees in Bordeaux in 2010.

During the opening at Wunderkammern, his first catalogue “The Urban Theatre” was presented and signed by the artist.

Living Layers was a long-term project curated by Wunderkammern that sought to stimulate interpretations of the territory and its Living Heritage by means of contemporary art. The Living Layers project, which began in 2010 in collaboration with the MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma – with the young artists Alexander Hamilton Auriema and Valentina Vetturi and coordinated by Cesare Pietroiusti, involved artists stemming from differing realms of research, proposing transversal and previously un-exhibited interactions in urban public space.