[j|f]unction following form in fURNishing: INT & EXT [s|p|l]aces to the MAXXI

it's been a month now since we've been in our new Roman digs | & 2 weeks since my last confession | & 1 week since we've been furnished & our inanimate possessions in their rightful places & our built-in shelves stocked with books like a river with fish | i often feel conflicted [here] about how & what to write about | to me this site is my sensory observations & musings on language & art [& as such must be written in the voice of the part i'm researching] | but also as such [this] is also inextricably & inHEREntly twined with our living SITUation—the [s|p|l]aces we occupy on a day-to-day level | & personS we know personALLY that may or may not care about language or art [at least in the way i do] might come [here] to get an update on how we are doing [in the more typical ¢ense of a JOURnaling bLog] | so for those here are images of our new situation on via Titta Scarpetta:

where i am writing from

where i'm writing from


Malian mask & Indonesian temple dog [Singha]

beaming malian mask


Fancy Avian Platter & spiral stairs leading further up ...

admiral Roman bird

i guess i should take a step back & give the tour in order starting at ground level | this video shows our place starting on the street & going to the top [to the tune of «At Home He's A Tourist» by Gang of Four:


j's den [& the Ikea fold-out couch you'll sleep on when you visit]

j's den


1st floor bathroom [with tank perfect for taping gun behind]



back up on the 2nd floor living room [a.k.a. the Swedish vampire ark cabin]

ark room


painting of j over heartH [note stone-carved panel in back of fireplace]

j over fireplace


& the slotted built-in wood fixtures ...

slat slits


hanging lamp is something we picked up in Morocco that i wired up myself
as well as the Mexican star lamp that i had to rewire after frying it [& half our appliances] on 220 V

moroccan light


emBEDding DNA ladder

spiral stairs


porthole window looking into heirLoom grapeVine

porthole window


upstairs bathroom [complete with bidet]

bidet upstairs


upstairs bedroom looking out onto patio [& displaced Malawian chief's chair]



reflection of patio in bedroom door [bedroom also has coconut frond matted carpet like the living room]

reflection of patio in bedroom window


looking SE off patio [w/ L-to-R: { basil | thai peppers | spicy greens | arugula}—all grown from seed]

patio looking southeast


patio looking NE [w/: { cilantro | tomatoes | beans | lemon tree | grape vine | jalapeños }

looking northeast

what i like about it most is it's like living on a ship—a good [s|p|l]ace to continue writing the \∀/RK Côd∃X though lately i've been deRailed by not only reSITUating ourselves & adapting to this new CULTure but by learning Italian [& OK the buzz of vuvuzelas has been rather distracting too] | learning another language makes you rethink your own mother tongue | knowing Spanish the words of Italian come easy to me—it's just the synTax & splicing sentences together that is foreign & awkward | in that respect Italian is more like French [of which i only have 2-3 months of real world experience with]  | when you learn language as a child you don't stop to think about it [the language itself] much—or at least i didn't & i somehow got away with never taking an English grammar class | you take language for granted or become desensitized to it like you do traffic noise | even Spanish is something i learned on the streets & only after the fact when i returned to fINish my last few years of high school in the states did i take «a class» to fulfill some sort of requirement & only then was i told what it was i was actually learning [in technical terms] & what the rules were | the way i'm learning Italian [Rosetta Stone] is cool in that it's all by example like how a child learns or how you'd learn it on the streets | you are given a situation & you have to figure out what to say rather that just answer useless questions like «what is that past-pluperfect subjunctive participle of the conditional tense of the verb to be» which only piles on another layer of b.s. terminology to memorize & shield you from actual meaning | maybe it's the physicist in me that makes me think of language as simply action [verbs or ACT-ions] & objects being acted on [nouns] or reducing things further into the smallest discrete components—LETTERS [as you can see in the above video tour written on the slot on our front door] | letters [atoms] forming words [molecules] & words forming sentences [chemical reactions] & all of this encoded into language & strung together into books written [decoded or transcribed] from your ribosomal RNA | OK i said i wasn't going to get distracted by digressions on language but i did so back to our living situation [which has everything to do with language & language really is not that different than architecture or interior design or home furnishing... ] | who was it that said the top 5 criteria for finding an apartment are 1. location 2. location 3. location 4. location & 5. location? or maybe it was the top 10 | & who was it that was telling us about how certain people are hard-wired genetically to be predisposed to living near water? or in particular rivers? j & i definitely have that gene [though we both lack the asparagus gene] | we can't see the river from our window [unlike our last place in Brooklyn] but the Tiber is a stone's throw away as is what's left of this bridge built in 100-200 B.C.:

Ponte Rotto—the first stone bridge built across the Tiber

Ponte Rotto

...still standing after 2000+ years | there's a bridge just upstream from it [Ponte Cestio] that was also built in B.C. times & is still intact & being used [for pedestrians anyway] | every time i cross it it blows my mind—talk about a lot of water under the bridge | i can't think of a better city & a better spot within this city to live in | even the building we live in is as old as the U.S. | & every time i leave the house in a different direction i discover something new | my latest favorite place that i've been running every day & that we went to on a picnic yesterday is Villa Doria Pamphili | beyond just the villa & secret gardens & grottos there are expansive tracts of open space with a network of dirt trails which—in typical Roman fashion—has no order to it so you can explore or run around randomly & haphazardly rather than [like in American parks] feel like a rat running in circles or on some sort of prescribed circuit with the hordes of other rats ||

Gianicolo fountain [on the road leading up to Doria Pamphili]

fontana di gianicolo


Ossario's Mausoleum [also on the way up to Pamphili]

ossario mausoleum


beheaded statues in front of the villa

villa doria pamphili


sunday afternoon under an almond tree—only a few km from downtown Rome

villa doria pamphili


j's take on it [via her ipod mini]


doria pamphili trees

not everything is ancient in Rome though | a few weeks ago a new contemporary art museum opened [Maxxi] architected by the Iraqi deconstructionist architect Zaha Hadid:

Maxxi at sunset

maxxi sunset


approaching Maxxi

Maxxi tracks


Anish Kapoor piece in lobby

anish kapoor maxxi


inside Maxxi looking out

looking out of maxxi


DeDominicis skeleton outside

da dominicis


de dominicis skeleton at maxxi

the main attraction [or distraction?] at Maxxi though seems to be the building itself which for an art museum seems self-defeating | i wasn't crazy about much of the art inside anyway | there was a lot of space devoted [wasted?] to Gino DeDominicis | & another wing filled with junk by the Turkish artist Kutluğ Ataman—except OK maybe this piece was mildly interesting:


& ok this one by Anselm Keifer was texturally interesting [& smelled oddly nostalgic]

anselm keifer


Tiber debris as seen from bridge leading to Maxxi [the Tiber also smells sweetly nostalgic & primordial]

Tiber debris


comprehensive  exhibit of Luigi Moretti's architectural works which ok was pretty incredible
& gives a lot of insight into why a lot of public spaces look the way they do in Italy

Luigi Moretti


Zaha Hadid designs for Maxxi

Zaha Hadid drawing


the realization

Maxxi interior


EXT. Maxxi

Maxxi Arc


fragile glass domes within domes within Maxxi [i forgot the name of the artist]

Maxxi dome



INT. Maxxi

Zaha Hadid

there was a concert after in the courtyard around Maxxi featuring some DJs & this Koudlam guy who was entertaining in that pretentious French way | & there was quite the scene of Roman hipsters drinking mojitos still living like they were all wonderfully stuck in a Fellini film | fuck Ricky Martin we're living La Dolce Vita ||

Koudlam at Maxxi




(copyright is a dinosaur) 2010 Derek White