Sunday, 4 January 2009

Sabbioneta and Surrealism

It’s a bone chilling crisp sunny Sunday. Fede and I decide to make the most of this icy sunny day and head to Sabbioneta, a medieval village built based on the ideas of ancient Rome and Greece as to the ideal city. Clearly this never happened. It’s a short 15 minute drive, and by the time we had arrived the sunny skies are all but a distant memory.
The fortified village is held captive inside a cloud, and not a soul in sight.
We head towards what seems like an open antiquarian shop. Within seconds we are in a courtyard surrounded by antiques. An old man wearing a bowler hat hands me his card. He is a count. The last count. An Aristocrat. This place is his home. or a museum. Or both. He urges us to see his kitchen. We are lead to a well, stopping on the way to see the dozens photographs of him, the count, with the bowler hat, taken with various Italian politicians, artists, & musicians.

He shows us photographs of reflections of people looking through gilded mirrors in the house. We are instructed to be photographed throwing a penny into the well and to make a wish. We are than lead upstairs, occasionally stopping to photograph various objects as instructed (angle included). We have our joint and individual photos taken reflected through mirrors, naturally.
Another group of people has arrived and we have a quick look around before the lot of us are gathered, and lead to a local restaurant. We cease this opportunity to break free. What jut happened??? lets recap this:
A (very nice) eccentric aristocrat living in the tiniest of villages encapsulated within an ever- present cloud is on a mission; to photograph peoples' reflections through mirrors. His mansion is a townhouse crammed with antiques and mirrors reflecting each other, there is a wishing well, an old gramophone and an industrial meat slicer in the kitchen, and lest us forget the two frozen pigeons that lay symetrically by the road.
I am struggling to decipher this...

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