Tag Archives: desire

Beauty and Beast: Venice and the rhino

In 1751 Pietro Longhi painted this portrait of the rhinoceros, Clara, brought to the Venice Carneval that year. He depicted the animal eating quietly, indifferent to its owner (carrying the horn which had rubbed off) and to the masked and other spectators in the casotto behind it. Nearly three centuries later the rhinoceros returns to Venice in the form of a symposium, Beauty and the Beast: Venice and the Rhino, on 24 November and an accompanying exhibition, Rhinoceros: Luxury’s Fragile Frontier, 24 November – 21 December, both at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac. The exhibition title reveals the central theme. Both Venice and the rhinoceros are now luxury objects and both are threatened by the desire they evoke. The symposium brings together artists, conservationists, poets, writers, and historians to explore the unexpected intersections between these two endangered objects of luxury consumption. The exhibition presents the works of two artists concerned about issues of fragility and identity in relation to their personal and wider worlds and that of the rhinoceros. Their sculptural creations will be framed against the background of a ‘demand reduction’ marketing campaign which targets the consumption of rhino horn.

Tagged , , ,

Egypt, Jerusalem, Libya: Departure and Desire in Italian Women’s Writing

7e691395-4ce5-4204-a0b8-a994f7053800Patrizia Sambuco (Monash) will give a talk in English on ‘Egypt, Jerusalem, Libya: Journey through Italian Women’s Writing, 1890-1930’ at the Italian Cultural Institute, 233 Domain Road, South Yarra on Thursday 14 May at 6.30pm (admission free but reservation essential). The talk will tell the story of two Italian women writers, Matilde Serao and Pina Ballario, and the record of their encounters with people and places in the Middle East. At the beginning of the 1890s Matilde Serao was a solo traveller to Egypt and Jerusalem and published a travel book of her journey, Nel Paese di Gesù, which enjoyed extraordinary popularity. Pina Ballario, during the fascist period, wrote a successful novel, Fortuna sotto vento, set in colonial Libya. Both books represent the spirit of their time (pilgrimage and the Orient for Serao, and fascist ideology for Ballario) but have now almost faded into obscurity. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Il Paroliere: Italian Word of the Week – 15

E’ da poco passata la notte di San Lorenzo,italian-language-courses-300x240 e quindi la scelta della parola di questa settimana viene naturale. E’ un termine complesso  che collega stelle e soldati, aruspici antichi e filosofi contemporanei, Lope de Vega (‘Il …. è una malattia degli occhi’) e G.B.Shaw (‘Nella vita esistono due tragedie. La prima è la mancata realizzazione di un intimo ……,  l’altra è la sua realizzazione’). Gregoria Manzin offre il suo filo di Arianna per guidarci attraverso questo labirinto linguistico …..

Tagged