About the Project

Santa Maria in CosmedinOver a period of 11 months Patrick Kelley walked and explored the city of Rome, visiting, documenting, and researching the City’s churches from paleochristian to baroque. Kelley was drawn to the inherent desire in classic church architecture – the focus, symmetry, and implied movement. Over time he found that he was making the same photograph in each space – aligned to the center axis, focusing on the apse of the church.

From these collected images Kelley began assembling a layered animation in which all churches are present throughout the sequence, with each image taking a turn to rise in clarity above the others. The process slowly became a study of both particularity and similarity in this peculiar architectural form, intertwined with the history and topography of Rome. The resulting high-definition sequence of 175 churches, a seamless, 6-minute loop with no beginning or end, is intended to be experienced as an immersive meditation of sorts.

The first of the edition of four of 175 Rome Churches was acquired by Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, New York. An earlier version (129 churches) was presented at the American Academy in Rome during the School of Fine Arts Concert. It was projected as a visual complement to composer Lei Liang’s In Praise of Shadows (2005), a piece for solo flute. Video of performance

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