Lucia Coppola

Roman Road (2024)

Moving Image and Installation

This video installation proposes tourism as a medium for revelations about self and other, and witnesses an interaction beyond the characters immediate senses.

The protagonist, Rosa, is an alien tourist turned tour guide. She leads a small group of visitors around her town, culminating in a final experience at the Druids Social Club. Tourism is a phenomenon that tries to represent culture and place, but instead creates new, peculiar and uncanny realms. Influenced by the ideas in Azuma’s ‘Philosophy of The Tourist’ which considers the figure of the tourist anew. Roman Road invites the audience to perceive the tourists as willing outsiders.

By examining themes of alienation and ownership, it explores the duality of place—both reliably familiar and entirely strange. What does it mean to own something? The film is also interested in oral histories and urban myths. Places can’t speak for themselves, are descriptions, explanations and learnings of a place an attempt to pocket it for ourselves and those ‘like us’? Similarly, local museums, attractions, and archives prompt us to consider whose stories have been overlooked.

The narrative employs conventions of ‘the reveal’ and ‘point of view’ and uses voices who serve as ‘unreliable narrators’ to explore themes of belonging, arrival, and perspective. Alongside the use of humour, all the devices together are trying to shift the viewer’s position and make it harder to side with a perspective; who is the ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘them’.


Tour Guide played by Rosa Brentnall; Tourists played by Zelda Solomon, Samuel Esteves Vilanova, Louis Glanfield; Sound Recordist, Laur Rozier

Lucia Coppola is concerned with leisure, pleasure-seeking, and entertainment culture as sites for considering anthropological and ontological questions. Her upbringing in Brighton has particularly influenced her filmmaking and performance practice.

She has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths and was the recipient of the Nicholas & Andrei Tooth Travelling Scholarship in 2019. As a result, she created The Last Tender (64 minutes) which was filmed during a month-long cruise at the start of the pandemic. Drawing from her experiences of family cruise holidays, she explored how entertainment spaces like cruise ships operate as microcosms where codes of behaviour, social hierarchies, and performances of power are intensified, reinforced, or opposed. She focused on herself and those closest to her as protagonists.

Through a process of zooming in and getting under the surface of the subject matter, her work aims to understand and challenge the pre-existing culture of a space and the specific ways one is meant to navigate through it.