THE DADA BARONESS

THE DADA BARONESS

In all my boundless ignorance, I did not know the Dadaist Baroness until BurnazziFeltrinaArchitetti told me about her regarding what I had written on Chester Bennington‘s tattooed ring, pointing out that her wedding ring instead was a bolt picked up from the road.

Art “to wear”, body art to the point of making the concept of transformation three-dimensional which is also realized in the continuous and constant evolution of Elsa Hildegard Plotz, then Elsa Endell and finally Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.

Impossible to conceive of seeing her with a trivial mug. She distorts the use of the most common objects, adorning them.

Therefore spoons enrich a headdress as much as a bird cage the neck. Trying to describe her, I would like to bypass the famous phrase that recurs in the various references concerning her, pronounced by the one who appropriated the idea for the Fountain work.

I would rather quote the words of Djuna Barnes, according to Michelle Feda‘s analysis

in the Village. One may encounter many things, many people. One may even meet the Baroness leap lightly from one of those new white taxis with seventy black and purple anklets clanking bout her secular feet, a foreign postage stamp— cancelled—perched upon her cheek; a wing of purple and gold caught roguishly up with strands from a cable once used to moor importations from far Cathay; red trousers—and catch the subtle, dusty perfume blown back from her—an ancient human notebook on which has been written all the follies of a past generation.

Words that well illustrate corporality.
Words that offer all-round aspects: colors, sounds, scents.
The follies of a past generation” in open contrast with the present of an artist who is already a future, even for Dadaism.

But as often happens for such controversial and unconventional characters, life is a rollercoaster ride even steeper than usual, both for the climb that touches the golden world, and for the sudden descent that sees difficult moments. inexorably chase each other.

The village is where the friendship between Elsa and Djuna was born: Greenwich Village. A friendship that never ends even in the face of adversities that cancel the rise: it is Djuna who helps Elsa in various ways until her death in Paris, “her last joke”.

But their intense exchange of letters remains.

WHITE WOLF OR BLACK WOLF?

WHITE WOLF OR BLACK WOLF?

In the period in which we are living, among the numerous aspects that have taken the place of what was our daily life before, we also observe forms of behavior that are not exactly social, not to say friendly at all.
The idea that the true self of some people comes out only in emergencies or forcing, has always been latent. We come into contact with it through sayings or legends, just like that of the white wolf who is joy, love of peace, hope of serenity, humility, well-being, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith; or the black wolf who is anger, envy, jealousy, displeasure, regret, self-pity, greed, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The official origin is lost over time: the source has been handed down orally, but I found this Tale of the two wolves.
Each individual has within him both wolves and who will win is the one he decides to feed.
Therefore free will.
Concept as broad as it is debated.
Among the countless discussions that are lost in history, between nature and culture, between philosophy and science, one example comes out: the Stanford experiment.
In 1971 a young psychology professor from Stanford University: Philip Zimbardo recreated a prison in the basement of the university and selected 24 students from 70 candidates who had offered themselves, doing various tests that ascertained, for example, the absence of diseases, of addictions, and criminal records. These students were divided equally and randomly into two groups: prisoners and guards.
The aim was to demonstrate the impact of situational variables on human behavior.
The Lucifer effect, this is the definition given to the result of the experiment, interrupted after only 6 of the 14 days scheduled, due to harassing and violent incidents by the guards against prisoners.
This effect was also induced by de-individualization: the guards in the institutional role, behind uniform and mirrored glasses, which gave a sort of individual anonymity precisely, showed to let emerge their worst side.
Zimbardo himself said that he had taken the role of prison director and the accusation of having induced and piloted some dynamics, brought copious criticisms and tended to refute the validity of the experiment.
So now, seeing various types of outlets not only virtual, perhaps we can consider the fact that some people feel “prisoners” and others assume the role of “guards”.
What we can do is try to stay ourselves and not feed the bad wolf … and not even the Lucifer effect.

WAR OF THE WORLDS

WAR OF THE WORLDS

What time is the end of the world?
No, let’s start from the beginning: The War of the Worlds is a novel written by H. G. Wells, one of the forerunners of the science fiction genre, originally published in installments in 1897 on the Pearson’s Magazine in London.
First curious anecdote: HG Wells took in part inspiration from Giovanni Schiaparelli’s theories about Mars (and if you always read me remember our save the date 🙂 )
The astronomer and director of the Brera Astronomical Observatory in Milan observed some lines on the surface of the red planet, and hypothesized that they could be natural channels for the transport of water as they changed from one observation to another.
At this point there is another beautiful smile because what is one of the painful keys for all of us Italians? Knowledge of English!
Why do I say this? Because its natural channels were translated with the wrong term that distorted the theory by transforming them into artificial canals. Hence the assumption that they had been excavated by … Martians, precisely.
These famous “Martians” who populated the fantasies of many, embodying the most varied forms and descriptions, before being replaced by the most universal aliens.
These famous “Martians” who inspired Wells first and then Welles, Orson Welles.
Curious also this coincidence, one e above all and a patented invention separates them, another curious fact, always in 1897, always in London, and always by an Italian: Guglielmo Marconi.
Why do I switch to radio? Because in the meantime we arrive in 1938, and the radio is still the fledgling mass media and, exactly as it works today for the internet, it is seen as a form of potentially dangerous communication. It is seen as a vehicle of social mutation, for the rapid diffusion to the easy reach of a large number of people, and above all harmful to the publishing giants, worried about losing their income.
And precisely at CBS Orson Welles conducts The Mercury Theater on the Air: a program consisting of the narration of the great classics of literature, for the truth poorly paid and not much followed.
But Orson, at that time a Shakespearean actor, expresses his genius by using the program also to deal a blow to the system, deciding to cut the news in real time, and in view of the imminent Halloween, structures the Martian invasion described in the book like a real-time radio commentary.
It is in fact on October 30, 1938 when the reading of the opening words of The War of the Worlds is on air, interspersed with musical broadcasts, as usual, until an announcement interrupts the music and transposes the text setting it in the United States. With the help of screenwriter Howard Koch, completed with mock interviews with experts, imitations of press releases from the authorities, and sound effects to which Orson Welles pays special attention.
At the beginning and during the transmission it is clearly stated that it is the transposition of the novel, but many tune in at different times and the illusion effect created artfully succeeds perfectly.
It is said that a man called the New York Times to ask “what time is the end of the world?” to which the famous song written by Michael stipe of R.E.M. is inspired.
There is a chorus that supports the exaggeration of the estimates that count people running in the street, panic scenes, or hysteria, and I honestly don’t intend to dwell on the numbers, since, especially in this period, we everyday hear tragic counts.
In fact, in Grover’s Mills, New Jersey, there is a commemorative plaque with the following inscription:
On the evening of October 30, 1938 Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre presented a dramatization of H.G. Wells The war of the worlds as adapted by Howard Koch. This was to become a landmark in broadcast history, provoking continuing thought about media responsibility, social psychology and civil defense. For a brief time as many as one million people throughout the country believed that Martians had invaded the earth, beginning with Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.
The important thing that Orson Welles has more or less voluntarily shown us is that people are led to believe rather unconditionally what is communicated to them by the mainstream mass media.
How many times have we heard “TV said it?”
How many care to check the news?
This time I went beyond coffee time, but today we can also indulge in chocolate, what do you say?
Now I conclude with the last strange coincidence: in The War of the Worlds the Martians are defeated by a virus.

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