March 19, 2017 § Leave a comment
The title of this post refers to a self portrait (oil on canvas) painted in 1976 whilst living in Roma Italia attending the Academia di Belli Arti. I look at it now (It hangs on the wall above my computer), and a flood of memories come to me, the tsunami of culture that is Italy.
One year into doing a degree at Caulfield Institute (now Monash University) I decided to leave and go to ROME. I was 20 years old when I arrived in Roma at the Stazione Termini, and literally walked out from the train station into a massive student demonstration, confronted an all sides by lines of helmeted riot police who beat a menacing drum sound with truncheons on plastic shields. The Australia that I had left, was to me a sleepy place, even though Gough Whitlam was giving it an almighty kick up the bum, but in reality the culture was still just emerging from the torpor of the Menzies years. So the pitched battle that was going on around me the tear gas, the violence, the civic unrest, the political battles that were being fought on the streets both scared and excited me. It all seemed to culminate when Pasolini was killed.
“La cultura piccolo borghese in Italia, ma forse anche in Francia e in Spagna è qualcosa che porta sempre della corruzione e delle impurezze. Mentre un analfabeta…ha sempre una certa grazia (che) poi si ritrova a un altissimo livello di cultura, ma la cultura media è sempre corruttrice”
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Fellini’s ( then Pasolini & Lina Wertmuller) movies provided the original impetus for me to go to Italy, “Satyricon”, “Roma”, “Amacord”….I was 15 years old when I saw these movies with my parents, at the time I belonged to a Film Group that put on European movies at a cinema in Croydon. For me it was the beginning of my life long love affair with Italia.