Experiments with Fendi

Last night, the Professor and I went to what I now consider my annual mecca: Alda Fendi Foundation's evening of experimental art performances at the Ex-Mercato Ebraico in the Velabro. For the past few years that we have been going, I've enjoyed the performances as a breath of fresh and provocative art but to be honest, I've often felt the shows have not been cohesive and, at times, the imagery is reminiscent of 1990s performances. (My post on 2009's performance).

Yesterday evening's performance Organze cod: 116-7 shot Fendi into the 21st century and decade #2. Finally, Fendi got it together with an outstanding, cohesive and inspiring performance, even if standing in heels for 53 minutes was a tad too long. The usual suspects (2 nuns, male model in a hot tub, naked, anorexic woman) stood at attention for the duration of the event as imagery (text, film clips and stills, paintings)was projected onto three walls of the hexagonal room. So it does sound like the same old thing but the presentation, the organization and the music made an entirely unique and superb performance.

I loved the cocooned woman who was brought on stage, wrapped in black with large crystal baubles singing primordial coos, the music overall and the live folk dance. At this moment, I must brag. At the Fendi after party, I happily bumped into the tambourine player so that I could throw out the "hey, was that the pizzica you played?" line. He hugged me and said yes. Why this detail? Because I was actually able to differentiate the pizzica from the other folk dances in the the Tarantella family - thanks to an afternoon of dancing saltarella (Roman), tarantella (Campania) and pizzica (Salento) with youtube and my cousin Giovanna last fall.

Organze cod. 116-7 Fondazione Alda Fendi Antico Mercato del Pesce in the Velabro 9:30pm

Performances through Sunday April 25. Reservations

Postscript: it's always important to check out the crowd at a live art performance. And Fendi's crowds are usually la bella gente (amazingly dressed men and women), international hipsters, local artists, and moi. Last night was no exception. The room was choc-a-bloc with the uber-stylish, artsy and nerdy, and also some small children. While waiting to enter, I stumbled across a new theory upon spying a Christopher Atkins lookalike: when Roman men have hair, they have incredible manes that must be applauded. The Professor thought I was insane.