Irina Larios' exhibition at the Museum of the Archaeological Site Baelo Claudia is the result of the artist's inspiration by the discovery of the only mausoleum dedicated to a woman in the western
Roman Empire to date.
4 Mach - 30 Octuber 2022
Inscription from the funerary monument of Junia Rufina found next to the Carteia gate of the Roman city
of Baelo Claudia in June 2018. Origin and inspiration for the "Romanas" Exhibition.
«During the work of an archaeological excavation at Baelo Claudia
in 2018 an epigraph with large letters in bronze was uncovered.
This identified Junia Rufina as the person to be buried there whom
until today remains the first woman known to be interred in an individual mausoleum in Roman Spain. This event gave me the idea and the inspiration for my current exhibit.
Unquestionably, Junia Rufina was powerful and influential, as many women were during Roman times. Surely she must have enjoyed great freedom, and have decisibely participated in all important aspects of
private and public life. She would have been recognised and respected as it won´t happen again until well into the XX century.
I want to put a face to the many headless statues and sculptures of Roman women of whom we know very little beyond maybe their names or their dressing tunics. Here, I pay homage to these women of past
and present whose determination, and perseverance to be free and
equal enables them to steer the course of History».
Proba - Fania - Plautia - Otacilia - Herennia - Papianilla - Mummia - Octavia - Valeria - Galla - Munatia - Seia - Sallustia - Barbia - Matidia - Gratidia - Helena - Marciana - Magna - Orbiana - Matina - Etruscilla - Statilia - Minervina - Livia - Ocellina - Messalina - Orestilla - Lucilla - Maecia - Helvia - Urbica - Scantilla - Marcella - Licinia - Furnilla - Plancina - Severina - Lollia - Sulpicia - Mariniara - Mucia - Achaica - Placidia - Numeria - Gnaca - Flavia - Paccia - Fulvia - Marcia - Papiria - Faustina - Magia - Urgulanilla - Fausta - Plautilla - Junia - Clementia - Hortensia - Lucrecia
This installation consists of 72 ceramic sculptures. 67 in white clay and 5 in red. They measure 45 cm. They show the headdresses and robes of roman women of the time. Under these pieces they appear some of the most popular female names in Roman society.
ROMAN WOMEN THAT THEY LEFT A MARK...
A group of six stoneware hollow spheres 50 centimetres in diameter coloured with different engobes. This work is a metaphor of those Roman women who left a trace in history.
(Corpus Tibullianum III 13). Translation of Lee Pearcy.
Tandem uenit amor, qualem texisse pudore
quam nudasse alicui sit mihi fama magis.
exorata meis illum Cytherea Camenis
attulit in nostrum deposuitque sinum.
exsoluit promissa Venus: mea gaudia narret,
dicetur siquis non habuisse sua.
non ego signatis quicquam mandare tabellis,
ne legat id nemo quam meus ante, uelim,
sed peccasse iuuat, uultus componere famae
taedet: cum digno digna fuisse ferar.
At last. It´s come. Love,
the kind that veiling
will give me reputation more
than showing my soul naked to someone.
I prayed to Aphrodite in Latin, in poems;
she brought him, snuggled him
into my bosom.
Venus has kept her promises:
let her tell the story of my happiness,
in case some woman will be said
not to have had her share.
I would not want to trust
anything to tablets, signed and sealed,
so no one reads me
before my love;
but indiscretion has its charms;
to fit one´s face to reputation.
May I be said to be
a worthy lover for a worthy love.
This installation is formed with pieces of broken tiles and ceramic found in Baelo Claudia and stoneware flowers inscribed with the poetry of Sulpicia.
Sulpicia (first century B.C.) is the first and only Latin poet whose poems have been preserved.
She refused to be a demure, chaste and pious woman. She transgressed the social roles of the time by developing her literary skills in a cultural circle and giving a feminine voice to her verses.