Chiara Boeri: Tabula Fantastica

  • ©,



    Tabula Fantastica


Creation Year:



    Mixed Media


    Closed: 20 x 24 x 12 inches, Open: 44 x 24 x 12 inches


Artist Statement:

    My work has been inspired by the Tabula Peutingeriana, from the first century A.O. It is an early road map of the imperial highways of the
    Roman world, roughly covering the area from the southeast of England to present day Sri Lanka. It is not a “map” in the present sense of the word, but a cartogram. No copies of the original have survived, but a copy of it was made in 1265 by a monk at Colmar. The entire map was originally a long, narrow parchment roll, and in its present state measures 22 feet, 1. 75 inches long by 13.25 inches wide. In 1508, the humanist Konrad Celtes of Vienna left the Colmar manuscript to Konrad Peutinger. It was first published in 1591, and since 1618, it has generally been known as the Tabula Peutingeriana. What is life but a sort of cartogram? Some people write autobiograpies, others write diaries, but being a painter, my life story is best described as a cartogram. So, last year I started to build my own Tabula, which I called Fantastica, because life itself is a fantastic and beautiful experience. It is made of signs, colours, and words in any possible language. It does not intend to tell a story, but to make the reader feel a new experience. Rolling the Tabula back and forth on its leather case is something unusual. The case is built to hold, just beneath the parchment roll, a DVD player with a flat screen on top of it. I made a video that perfectly integrates the still images of the cartogram and, through the transparency of the parchment. 20 and 30 animation live video. So reading the Tabula requires manual activity, but viewers can also see and hear the Tabula itself. This piece is a never-ending work in progress.