|History of mythologisation
Photo+ Handmade frame with LED installation
“History of mythologisatio “ is a photo object which image depicts the inner roof of Teatro Ariosto in Reggio Emilia, in northern Italy. The dramatic and heroic scenes in the image belong to the famous medieval myth of Orlando popularized by the Italian renaissance poet Ariosto in his poem Orlando Furioso (in Swedish Rasande Roland). Ariosto elaborated on the old myth about the adventurous life of one of Charles the Great’s (Charlemagne’s) knights and created his own somewhat ironic, romantic and lustful version that became incredible popular in Europe from the 16th century and onwards (and was made in to operas by Vivaldi and Händel, among others). The painted ceiling is embracing these lustful elements in an exaggerated style with sea monsters, flying hippogriffins, and both chaste and sensual women that creates a relation to contemporary mangaillustrations.
The image provides a circular narrative with no beginning and no end, and seen in situ – in the theatre building – it is difficult to overview because of its scale. It was my desire to “possess” this mesmerizing image and architecture that was the driving force to make the work: photographed and incorporated in the object this image becomes “accessible”.
The object itself, with its circular light (that can be dimmed with a remote control) and large white frame – that follows the construction of the theatre ceiling – refers to theatre dressings rooms mirror– in this case the actor would be watching the narrative of the drama instead of his/her own mirror image. The black square in the middle of the image – the wooden part of the ceiling where a glimpse of daylight is seen – provides the potential opening to the outer world.
Although Orlando Furioso is a sort of fantasy story it has a historical background: the European Christians’ medieval war against the Saracens (Muslims). The text relief on the object is the first line of the poem:
DONNE, I CAVALIER, L'ARME, GLI AMORI, LE CORTESIE, L'AUDACI IMPRESE
IO CANTO, CHE FURO AL TEMPO CHE PASSARO I MORI D'AFRICA IL MARE
The story of the war between the West and the East has an obvious resonance to our time. Not only for its orientalistic elements but also for the mythologisation of conflicts – in our time a mythologisation through media almost in real time. The need to project ourselves and our desires on the conflict between the struggle, between the supposedly evil and good is still present.