Urban Kitsch challenges the role of architecture as a mediator between cultural tourism as a driving force of urban transformation, and the collective memory, local rituals, and mystical practices established in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome.
Drawing upon the ghetto's multivalent history, Urban Kitsch proposes the insertion of site-sponsored ‘machines’ of interaction into existing contexts of practice within its fabric. Juxtaposing the resident’s need for memory, ritual, and play spaces, with touristic desire for access, commerce, and exhibition, the assemblages form a network of stage sets putting both local and tourist culture on display.
Reading collage as an analytical device for staging the theatricality of local ritual and consumer spectacle within the urban fabric, this research seeks to reveal incidental tensions and identify potential for hybridization within its context. Aimed at destabilizing a scripted perception of the site, Urban Kitsch exposes the theatricality of the ghetto while addressing the local need for a defined self-awareness within its public realm.
Location: Rome, Italy