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The Secret Week

The Secret Week project

Being Italian is – not only recently – a source of confusion. Especially, when being an Italian woman. I decided to develop a work inspired by politics, related to the history of Italian power, for the facts linked to the expression “bunga bunga”. The term, typical of the native Indonesian culture, was used in the famous play “Dreadnought hoax”, in 1910. In Italy, starting from 2010 – later spread around internationally – the meaning of this word referred also to the erotic-sexual feasts of the so-called “Rubygate”. The scandal, which involved the Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, Silvio Berlusconi, led the Milanese Public Prosecutor’s office to charge him with the crimes of bribery and exploitation of prostitution.

The project entitled The Secret Week evolves around seven situations, seven as the days in a week, which followed one another in Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa of Soncino. In his diary the Marquis, heir of a noble and rich family, tells the unrestrained sexual adventures of his wife. 30th August 1970, he killed her, her lover and himself: it was the “murder of Via Puccini”. During the searches, the puzzled investigators found, in addition of the diary, 1500 obscene pictures depicting the raids of his wife and friends. It was 1974 when the ambitious businessman Silvio Berlusconi moved to the sumptuous Villa Casati Stampa in the province of Milan. The residence, called Villa San Martino, along with the connected older and newer sexual scandals, seems to open and close the latest 50 years of the history of the Italian power.

The Secret Week is based on a selection of pictures coming from the original records of the facts. The images are mysterious and slightly noir, I feel sorry and horrified. To create this series I imagined a “secret week”, in which those strange women acquire a new composure, in a different time lag, in another cycle. I played with the “mood” quality of each day, linking them to the astral planets of reference: Tuesday is warlike as Saturday is gloomy because saturnine. I tried to transcend the amateur character of the image to build allegories able to connect players of a wider social and political reflection. LR