At the Baths of Diocletian, two photographers – Fabio Barile and Domingo Milella – weave a dialogue between landscape archeology and the archeology of language, to reflect on photography and the very act of looking

“Knowing the past is just as amazing as knowing the stars” writes George Kubler in his book The Shape of Time (1972) from which the title of the exhibition Le forme del tempo (The shapes of time), which until 31 July 2022 presents the photographs of Fabio Barile and Domingo Milella in an unprecedented dialogue with the archaeological spaces of the Baths of Diocletian in Rome.

A journey through geological, archaeological and present time

The exhibition, curated by Alessandro Dandini de Sylva, is a journey through geological, archaeological and present time. After the first two exhibition chapters at the Pescheria Visual Arts Center and in the ancient Synagogue of Pesaro, The shapes of time is now seeking a new link with the great classrooms of the Roman baths that house the National Roman Museum.

The relationship between landscape archeology and language archeology

The exhibition is an evolution of the dialogue between the two artists, this time dedicated to the relationship between landscape archeology and the archeology of language. Fabio Barile, Domingo Milella and Alessandro Dandini de Sylva imagined the exhibition as a conversation between images and archaeological space , for an archaic return to reflection and for a profound research on photography and on the act of looking itself.


A dialogue to bring silent geologies and talking stones closer together

“The works of Fabio Barile and Domingo Milella are photographs that reflect Time. The images of Barile show forms in perennial evolution , since the deep time of the world and geology, while those of Milella have their roots in stone of the archaic , of the primitive in the present in a single glance” explains Alessandro Dandini de Sylva.

“The discourse on antiquity is evoked by the dialogue between the images on display: from the Pyramids of Giza to the Tomb of King Midas in Phrygia from the Campo Imperatore plateau to the Gorropu Gorge in Supramonte. Through the dialogue between the two artists, the exhibition intends to bring mute geologies and talking stones together by seeking a common archeology” concludes the curator.

Archaeological finds

Together with the photographic works, The shape of time  presents a selection of archaeological finds, chosen with the director of the National Roman Museum Stéphane Verger, with the intent to create visual and semantic combinations unexpected among the photographs, the great classrooms and the fragments of time unearthed from the museum's warehouses.

Promote the archaeological heritage through photography

“With the exhibition The shapes of time continues the Archeology and Photography project of the National Roman Museum, born to promote the archaeological heritage through the universal language of photography” explains Stéphane Verger. “The choice of exhibiting works preserved in the museum's deposits alongside the images of photographers Fabio Barile and Domingo Milella allows us to highlight the importance of the relationship that exists between the museum and its content and contemporary creativity”.

“The photographic exhibition finds in the seat of the Baths of Diocletian, the ideal space for a visual story dedicated to the passage of time, and is in constant dialogue with the imposing structures of the classrooms of the Baths and the finds” concludes the director of the museum.

The vibrant setting

The works of the two artists are presented in an exhibition designed to encourage dialogue with the archaeological space, absorb all its precious vibrations and offer visitors an original cultural experience.