This past Sunday, we installed the exhibition of my Muy Marcottage dresses. The exhibition, ”Walking Art, Talking Dresses”, was held at The Library (Voutakos, Paros) and, thanks to my friend Anthy, was a great success.
Years ago, when I was making big paintings, exhibitions were a lot more stressful. The biggest headache was that of transportation. But with Muy Marcottage, that has changed. Ready to be displayed were 35 garments that I neatly packed into two plastic milk crates. Pierluigi strapped the crates onto our rented dune buggy then off we went!
Below, one of the dresses exhibited:
This dress is called “Il Gattopardo”.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy was no longer a country as much as it was a series of city-states with a Papal presence. Then the Habsburgs took over and saw Italy little more than “a geographic expression”. But Italians did not agree with this vision and thus began the Risorgimento (Resurgence) which led to the unification of Italy , a long process that began with the end of Napoleonic rule and terminated with the Capture of Rome in 1870.
Change is a part of life and provokes a period of transition. And this transition often provokes an element of decadence—the old must die out to let the new come in. Il Gattopardo is a story about such a transition.
It was written by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Prince of Lampedusa, born in Palermo in 1896. He led a privileged lifestyle until he was drafted into the army in 1915. Giuseppe was caught by the Austro-Hungarians and held prisoner in Hungary. But he escaped and went back to Italy to live with his mother.
In 1932 in Latvia, he married Licy, a German noblewoman who studied psychoanalysis. Initially, Giuseppe and Licy lived with Giuseppe’s mother. But Licy had difficulties living with a Sicilian mother-in-law and returned to Latvia. A few years later, WWII came along and the Lampedusa palace in Palermo was bombed causing Giuseppe to sink into depression. That’s when he started writing Il Gattopardo.
Giuseppe finished writing Il Gattopardo in 1956 and sent it to publishers twice and twice it was rejected. He died a year later. And a year later, Il Gattopardo was published.