Kreëmart is proud to announce for one day only a presentation of the performance Inferno by Romina de Novellis coinciding with the 57th International Art Exhibition on May 11, 2017 at the Navy Officer’s Club in Venice. The artist sits as if she were at an altar, wearing a white dress filled with pieces of watermelons. Behind her, an orchestra plays music from Italian operas. During the course of three hours, the artist slowly and methodically eats the watermelons in her lap. The repeated gesture is simultaneously elegant, erotic, and disturbing.
The performance becomes a sort of portrait that embodies symbols of Italian culture: a Mediterranean woman, sacred iconography contrasting with the sensual gesture, the procession of the orchestra which evokes the forces of order, the importance of food and abundance, the pleasure of sharing ritual sacraments; but also the exaggeration of gluttony.
Inferno is a work dedicated to Venice, to Italy, and to the Mediterranean. Beyond it’s symbolic and aesthetic power, the performance is the manifestion of the artist’s need to confront the present in this a pivotal moment when the Mediterranean has become a theater of economic crises, wars, clashses between cultures and religions, caught in limbo between life and death.
The vibrant red juice of the watermelon acts as a symbol of femininity, sensuality and maternity in classical Italian iconography, but it also refers to the blood and wounds suffered by the Mediterranean sea.
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