Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bracciano/Naples/Capocotta: July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010

It’s busy here and steadily getting hotter.
I’ve been playing every other day, swimming out of doors: weekend before last (Jun 18th ?) at Sperlonga, with friends Ross and Adair, first time there since the fall. Beautiful. The water cold on first take and then riding the waves you warm up. Almost as long to get there by car as by train, but more convenient return for sure. We climbed up the beautiful city on the rocks for a light late lunch —delicious —as always in Italy. We were with New Zealanders who were crazy happy when the following Sunday they held Italy’s soccer team to 1-1. I really have never been a fan but it’s fun gathering in the tv room and watching those beautiful boys kick balls around!
Then last Saturday, June 26th, —I believe I’ve lost track of days— with new pal Christina at Lake Bracciano—kayaking and swimming, eating lunch, swimming and kayaking to a better beach, swimming some more. She is pro kayaker and I can hold my own. What a wonderful adventure! The lake is large, a reservoir for Rome (why they let us swim there I do not know?). Christina is head of Harvard’s poetry archive and an adventurer who matches my spirit nicely plus very very funny about university characters and lovers and the strangeness of our “bubble” here. We have had many many laughs. She leaves tomorrow sadly.
It has really been marvelously serendipitous the way people come and enter my life here. Patricia Tinajera is a sculptor artist from Ecuador, working in Tennessee and she was a wonderful companera as well. We went shopping for dresses on Tuesday a week or so ago and had lots of fun, plus we did studio exchange visits. She is smart, talented, funny and kind. I know both of these women I will see again.
As well Rome is showing me friends left and right. Wendy Artin, an artist here who lives in Rome has hosted me for dinner which is lovely to be in a Roman home with her two beautiful children plus handsome husband, who owns a travel book shop on Via Pelligrino. She does classical drawings very strong and swims at the same club as i—so we went out down to the pool together one late morning happily.
On June 10th I opened in a group show at Spazi Aperti, at the Romanian Academy with two parts from L’impero Invertito. They looked good, “poignant” said one woman who had seen them at the Academy. In this context they were more tender if that’s possible. It was total fun to ride on a new friend’s motorcycle in the heat, with the wind moving around. (I was careful to wear tights under my dress.) The show was particularly well curated I thought in the cortile basement so that was nice as that was where my videos were. The closing was on June 24th and another new friend B showed up. He lives in Trastevere and had wandered into the Academy show and seemed to like the work. We walked out from the Romanian academy and it was an almost full moon night with the magnificent soft air so we walked and walked and talked. He is a poet, knows Rome well —is French, lived here 8 years I think? Knows my friend and poet Kathleen Fraser (such odd serendipities yes?)—and shares his knowledge. A wonderful night— lovely dinner at Café Edy (this was a place I had been to in the fall) and then wondering from the wealthiest store windows (like some kind of magic house---occasionally showing only one red shoe with studs!) and then through the Jewish quarter where 200 men were milling around as presumably they do every night. Strangely tribal or Arabic, only three women on the corner of the crowd. I the only woman to walk through. B showed me the turtle fountain and a special stair up through Trastevere where Nano Moretti filmed. I will need get the name of that film and check it out. Such a memorable evening.
Then Monday after the Lake we went to a beach, Capocotta—or cooked head! We left early and it was marvelous. Swimming great, viewing as well and building a careful tan. He has a car so it is easy. We go tomorrow again! I am looking forward to it.
Yesterday to Napoli with Stephen Westfall. I am working every other day!
Naples was wonderful— a mix of Palermo and Cairo. Intense colorful, a kind of 34th street in NYC. We first stopped at church with magnificent Caravaggio—my favorite large-scale work of his so far. With all the Caravaggio shows I have seen this year, we have seen almost all of his work: two large retrospectives in Rome, one in Florence and the odd ones in Naples and Sicily and in churches throughout Rome. Amazing.
On to the Duomo where we saw Peragino (which I miraculously recognized though it was not identified—the guard told us later). There is something in his landscapes, color and tenderness of the faces that suggested it was his to me. We also saw a fading Giotta and wonderful Domenichinos. Then onto the Madre which is a contemporary museum…quite great in terms of curatorical choices: very specific, related to the area interestingly: for example a Warhol of a volcano, beautiful. This is Vesuvius territory of course. There was a Franz West retrospective on and I don’t really know him well so that was good to see. He is very influential. You can see Rachel Harrison coming out of his blobs and also Rachel Whiteread. He is funny, a montage artist from Austria. Powerful show.
Then onto the Anthropological museum which was incredible: the Farnese marbles and Pompei frescos were overwhelming. The statues either huge or just simply beautiful and memorable —some from the baths of Caracalla: eros riding a dolphin, an amazon almost falling off her horse. Handsome men in pairs or older men very muscled. Glorious glorious. The Pompeian paintings are truly remarkable. I have now to go to Ostia and then Pompei if possible? Will I make this?
I still need to finish up some shooting . a sailboat is happening next week for the death of Shelley ! and this weekend I go to film the baths of Caracalla.
All this —after another 5 hours back and forth to Roma Est to the apple store for my computer on Monday AFTER the beach—I am still working hard it seems. Did get new one and still having trouble with Microsoft. Damn those apple guys. But happy. Things are moving along.
No time to relax except when it is immense relaxation …somewhere splendida . Life here is amazing. I am relishing every minute of this bubble. When the days appear where we are not fed, I am in shock. What will I do when real world enters? For now it is all poignant all pleasure intense with friends and light and heat and art.

I am loving Rome. It is where one falls in love, with the city and with a lifestyle that is sensual, rich in visual pleasure.
A presto mi amici

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