Imperium Romanum Opus Extractum.
Photographs by Alfred Seiland.
Hatje Cantz, 2014. 160 pp., 45 color illustrations, 11½x9½".
Alfred Seiland (born 1952) has for many years been visiting the sites of antiquity around the Mediterranean, capturing them with his analog, large-format camera. His destinations are the ruins of the Roman Empire from Egypt, Libya and Israel to Italy, and the museums of Spain to Turkey. His locations are often difficult to access and in some cases are not even open to the public, remaining concealed from tourists. Seiland's photographs confront the viewer with themes that shed light on the conflict between antiquity and modernity. They show us the famous arenas of history with their architecture, sculpture and works of art. Employing color like a painter, Seiland condenses moments into perfect compositions. Yet some of the images are unsettling, telling as they do time and again of man's destruction of antique legacies.