Most of my regular readers know that I was in Rome last week – please scroll down if you haven’t red my two posts! On Saturday I had the most adventures walk in the city close to the Vatican. Walking towards a big town square I saw a huge amount of statues in rows. Curious as I am, I had to check it out and this was the first view:

All pics taken with my Nikon CoolPix S2 – click to enlarge!

The Piazza del Popolo is one of the most famous places in Rome. Starting from the Middle Ages it was the main entrance to the city from north. It was the main meeting place of the foreigners, rather than of Romans. The place was turned into a square by Sixtus V, who erected in the middle of it a 24m high (with the basement 36m) Egyptian obelisk (13th-12th centuries b.C.). The name in modern Italian literally means “piazza of the people”, but historically it derives from the poplars (populs in Latin, pioppo in Italian) after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.

This piazza served as an exposition hall, a stadium, and a theatre for popular plays. The face of the piazza changed a great deal from the 1400’s to the 1800’s, with the reconstruction of the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo (to the right in the picture above), the placement of the Flaminian obelisk at the centre of the piazza, and the addition of neo-classical elements by Giuseppe Valadier.

So what I saw while entering this square was actually HA Schult’s famous exhibition; ‘Trash People’:

Not since the invention of abstract painting has any art form been as thoroughly discussed as action art. Abstract art had a profound impact on thinking and creating during the first half of the 20th century; and now many aspects of action art have likewise passed directly into everyday life.

It was a reminder of that everyday element has been influencing art more and more strongly, and art has been responding to everyday life more and more quickly. In no other era has there been anything like this dialogue between art and everyday life. The range of materials used in art has never been so wide as today. Anything can be made into art. Mankind’s confines have narrowed; the freedom of art is unlimited. We live in the trash time: we produce trash and we become trash. Therefore HA Schult’s ‘Trash People’ are images of ourselves.

In 1996, when HA Schult has installed one thousand life sized ‘Trash People’, in the Amphitheatre of Xanten, the idea was born to send them around the world. Like the pyramids of Giza send messages to us from times past, HA Schult’s ‘Trash People’ will travel as a ‘now time expression’ to the world’s most important spots. As far as I know, the next place is Placa Reail in Barcelona, Spain and then New York and then in 2008 in Antarctics. If you have the chance I would say: Carpe Diem!

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24 Comments

  1. What an interesting way to do art.

  2. Irish Church Lady :)

    Very enlightening post, Renny!

    Kinda of like the art that is made from human carcasses. I can’t really get into that.

    I can’t listen to that thing on your post. It comes up with an error for me.

    I’ve tagged you for a meme on my meme blog About ICL

    Hope you can play!

  3. what an interesting intersection between ancient art and modern art! thanks for sharing :)

  4. OMG I’m envious! I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, especially to the canals of Venice! Anyhoo, glad to know you had a blast! :-)

  5. @Peral: Yes and thought provoking too!

    @IrishChurchLady: Yes, a scary sign of modern society!
    I’m so excited about the new podcast feature through Feedburner, but it seams to take a bit of time before it’s feeded:-(
    Thanks – I’ll check later!

    @Lime: Yes, I kind of got a mixed feeling you know:-)

    @Tallamsca: Tell me when you go to Venice – I wanna god with!

  6. Exciting story – the background you allways bring to the blogger world is very well. The Q I ask myself: Who can afford to have such art in their homes. All these Installation art.. It’s made for large, public or large companies to pay for and exhibit. 4 me, a thought X.

    Nevertheless, a great post and work.

    btw. Give D a great hug for the Easter from Anna and me;))

    I’m coming to Trondheim. Johs told me to.

  7. Italy is a beautiful place for art!
    I was in Venezia for the carnanal a few years ago! Just like in a dream! But now I’d like to go there when there are not so many people. this exhition “trash people” seems to be very original. Sometimes i would like to live in a big town just for the art!

  8. how very cool! I was going to say it started to look like those GI joe guys and then I read the trash men and or figured it out…

    And yes the blue skies have been lovely this weekend! Have a great sunday!

  9. To all: Sorry that the ‘Listen too…’ link doesn’t work yet, but I’m experimenting. Come back tomorrow and try!

    @TorAa: Thanks for your compliments and I was asking myself the same!
    Diane got her Easter Hug of course and give back one to Anna from both of us!
    Looking forward to see you in Trondheim!

    @Claudie: I would love to go to Venice too!
    This time of the year was out of season, so it wasn’t that overcrowded:-)

    @ET: Glad you liked it – was fascinating you know!

  10. That is just amazing, Renny. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ll have to go check out the dates because we’ll be in Barcelona in October. I would love to see this in person.

  11. Howdy! Thanks for the visit to my blog. I’m trying to be a better buddy myself. I’ve really enjoyed your Roman adventures & the Trash People. Have you seen any other installation art? I’ve had the distinct pleasure to witness two of Christo’s pieces; the Pont Neuf Bridge in Paris, France in December of 1985, and the Yellow Umbrellas he did at the Tejon Pass in Southern California, USA in 1990. I’m also a big fan of Keith Hardings work and have my picture in front of some of his grafitti circa 1985 Paris. Where are you off to next?

  12. That’s very interesting, I have never heard about these “Trash” people ! They look quite strange ! Yes today everything is called “art” even an old toilet or a white canvas with written on it (in italian) “landscape in snow” ! I don’t always agree, sometimes I just think the so called artists are just making fun of you.

    The cruise has stopped on the Midi Market in Brussels !

  13. Captain Crazy Lifecruiser

    Wonderful use of trash indeed. Creative if anything.

    The winner in the crazy hat parade is announced!

    Don’t miss the new port tomorrow – Iceland – or the new event on Wednesday – 1 photo from somewhere you’ve been and have strong memories from – beautiful or whatever.

  14. The trash people were cool…much better than the 200 lb chocolate naked Jesus I was just reading about in New York! My hometown has lost its mind!

  15. Hi Renny!

    I actually saw a reportage on the news about this exhibit. It took them three years ( or more) to finish this and it took the artist more than 40 staff to help him clean, sanitize, and take out the smell of the trash. I’m glad you were able to see it!

  16. @Ginnie: If you see it in Barcelona, please keep us posted!

    @LisaPizza: Glad you liked my reports from Rome!
    I have seen a few, but non of the one you mention.
    Well, right now I’m in our vacation home in Sweden.

    @Gattina: or they make you think:-)
    Thanks for a lovely guided tour in the Marked Gattina!

    @:MrsLifecruiser: Congrats again to Gattina then!
    See you in Iceland tomorrow captain:-)

    @Regina: well, modern art you know:-)

  17. Estupidormitorian Neil

    OMG.. now you’re in Italy sir Renny!

    SO GREAT!! NICE PICS! Very astonishing! Really!

    If I work overseas (or have plans to go for a worldwide trip), I’ll definitely visit teh Vatican.

  18. Wow! Very cool! I’ve never seen such a thing.

  19. I’ve been missing Vatican and since my last visit in 1990…I wanted to visit again. Your photos only reinforced that urge Renny :D

    Thank you once again for sharing Renny, I truly appreciate that :)

  20. That is quite an interesting work of art. I hope on my next trip would be in Rome or anywhere in Italy

  21. Captain Icebar Lifecruiser

    What about a long hot steaming bath in the Blue Lagoon all day long and then the icebar in the evening?

    Iceland Is Niceland :-D

  22. wow… I will DEFINITELY be looking out for the New York exhibit :-)

  23. Mother of Invention

    That certainly hasn’t caught om here yet but each place has its own style of art.

  24. How do I find your subscribe button, can’t find it anywhere and I want to sign upread your future posts.

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