summer in may, for one day (solo)

Xanthe Waite

with text by Angelica Waite

4th – 25th April, 2019

I. Preservation

A kind of kinetic energy is present is in these photographed spaces, where objects and materials appear as if preserved for future movement. A silvery, protective covering pulled over a boat, the dismantled pieces of a wooden structure stacked against a wall or an umbrella closed shut and held in place by tightly wound string. Functionality is deferred. There’s a strange melancholy embedded in this deferral, too; a weightedness that emerges perhaps out of the sense that these objects and materials are ageing not through periods of extensive use but through extended periods of disuse. Rust, sun-faded fabric, salt and wind-worn wood: the accumulated, physical traces of time passed in a state of stillness and rest.

Rimini, Italy. 44.0678° N, 12.5695° E. Elevation: 6 meters above
sea level.

I. Populating space

The landscape and its objects are held in-waiting, a sense of futurity and promise infused in the image. The promise of crowds, of packed bars, of beachside stalls, of conversations, of heat. We invest potential movement in the image where we find an absence of it, and we hear this movement as much as we see it. The muted thud of a ball hitting sand or the gentle swish as its acceleration is arrested by a net. The indistinct yet ebullient sounds of a heavily populated beach can be heard when we view an image of one emptied of people. The sound of feet on sand and water on concrete: the sounds of a future summer.

Some items in the collection:

A Roman Lapidarium displaying inscriptions from the 1st to the 4th Centuries
The ruins of a 2nd Century house including a collection of mosaics and frescoes
An archaeological display of Roman surgical instruments
Works by local 20th Century fashion illustrator Rene Gruau
The Libro Dei Songi (Book of Dreams) by Frederico Fellini
Still Life with Marine Produce by Nicola Levoli
Scenes of the Apocalypse by Francesco Maffei
Venus and Adonis by Capizucchi

III. Shifting Outlines

The shadow of a tree is cast across a road and against a pale concrete building on the other side. To the right, the shadow of a road sign against the same concrete building. Both tree and sign are mostly out of frame. The dominant size and sprawling shape of the tree’s shadow appears in contrast with the shortened and perfectly defined shadow of the street sign, a clear dark form against a white wall. It is the movement of the tree we notice in comparing these two shadows: the play of light through moving leaves has blurred the definition of the shadow’s edges. The shadow of the tree becomes not only a reference to an absent or out of frame object; it possesses its own movement and temporality. The blurring is a reminder of the tree’s constantly shifting outline; of the smaller shapes of light and dark within this outline that from pattern after new, unstable pattern.

Adjacent to the museum is a modern glass and pale wood structure that was built to encase and preserve the ruins of an ancient Roman house. The remains are sometimes illuminated by blue and pink spot lights, and visitors can look through the raised glass walkways at the ruins beneath their feet.

From the rubble, archaeologists discovered the pieces of a glass panel depicting three brightly coloured fish. It is presumed that the panel would have been placed on a marble shelf in a position where it could reflect the Adriatic Sea.