Graffiti, 1977

Exhibition view of Françoise Sullivan. The 1970s, 2021, Galerie de l’UQAM
Photo: Paul Litherland


4 of 18 digital colour prints produced in 2021 (photograms from the Super 8 film)
Collection of the artist


Excerpt from the digital transfer of the Super 8 film
Collection of the artist

Graffiti, 1977

Digital transfer produced in 2021 from a Super 8 film, colour, no sound, 6 min 45 s and 18 colour digital prints (photograms from the Super 8 film)
22.8 × 30.4 cm (each)
Concept, image, and production: Françoise Sullivan
Editing: Wayne Cullen
Collection of the artist

During Françoise’s first stays in Rome beginning in June 1970, she observed the abundant graffiti scattered around the city that made it truly a site of social and political demands. Following May ’68, many cities were in the throes of protest movements, and Rome was no exception. In the summers of 1977 and 1978, she returned to Rome to film and photograph graffiti. She was accompanied by David Moore, who assisted with the logistics of this political and social “reading,” which was to remain shut away for decades on reels of Super 8 film. In 2021, rediscovering this rich material from a decisive moment in her research, Sullivan set about bringing the concept of Graffiti to life with a short film and some stills taken from it. These still images establish the variety of the protesters’ themes.