“E tu... chi sei?!” / “And you... who are you?!” is a reflection on appearance, representation and the duty of remembrance in the Italy of yesterday and today, with the fabulous theatre that is Palermo (Sicily) as the backdrop.
This work was completed using shots taken in Palermo between 2 and 6 June 2011. They were taken primarily: in the cemetery and catacombs of the Capuchin Monastery, which has over 8,000 skeletons and mummified bodies displayed both lying down and upright, and which were dressed and laid out between 1559 between 1880; in the International Puppet Museum, as the Sicilian Puppet Theatre has been proclaimed by UNESCO to be a repository of Intangible Cultural Heritage; and in the Quattro Canti piazza, which was laid out in around 1610 and where the city’s two major arteries meet.
Attenti al bisturi, which discussed the dangers of cosmetic surgery carried out by non-experts, went out on 4 June 2011 on a channel belonging to the Mediaset group, which belongs to Silvio Berlusconi.
When asked by journalists on 4 September 2009 to comment on the resignation of the editor of the Catholic daily paper, Dino Boffo, who Silvio Berlusconi incorrectly accused of homosexuality, said, “Credo possiate leggere i giornali di oggi dove c'è tutto il contrario della realità. Abbeveratevi della disinformazione di cui siete protagonisti.] Povera Italia, [con un sistema informativo come questo.”
[“I think that what you read in the papers today is the very opposite of reality. Drink in the misinformation that you help to spread. Poor Italy, with such a media system.”]
In the speech that he gave on 7 September 1934 in Taranto, Mussolini said, “È certo che tutto il popolo italiano, dai picchi nevosi delle Alpi alle contrade siciliane e sarde .. tutto il popolo italiano risponderà e sarà alla pronto a compiere i sacrifici necessari ... e ricordateri, o camicie nere, che se questo sarà, io sarò alla vostra testa...” [“It is certain that all of the Italian people, from the snow-capped Alps to the villages of Sicily and Sardinia, will answer the call and will be ready to make the necessary sacrifices... and remember black shirts, that if this comes to pass, I will be at your head.”]
The Second World War was the largest armed conflict that humanity has ever known. It claimed around 62 million victims, the majority of whom were civilians.
Psalom is a piece for a string quartet written by Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer connected to the minimalist musical movement, which contrasts with the Baroque exuberance of the Quattro Canti piazza.
The famous aria L'ho perduta, me meschina is sung by Barbarina in the fourth act of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro:
L’ho perduta..., me meschina... ! (I have lost it, woe is me!)
Ah chi sa dove sarà ? (Ah, who knows where it is?)
Non la trovo... L’ho perduta... (I cannot find it. I have lost it.)
Meschinella ! (Miserable me!)
E mia cugina... ? E il padron... (And my cousin, and the boss?)
cosa dirà ? (What will they say?)
Paolo Conte is an Italian singer who has been greatly influenced by jazz and blues. Via con me is one of his most famous songs.
The waltz (by Verdi and adapted by Nino Rota) comes from the film Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) directed by Visconti, which was based on the only novel by the Palermitan author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. In the film, Tancredi says to his uncle the Prince of Salina “Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi!” [“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change!”]
Nina Simone is an American pianist, singer, composer and civil rights activist who is primarily associated with jazz music.
© All the photographs presented on the site remain the property of Dominique Thirion and may not be used without his consent.