The Sceneggiata Biers consists of a series of ten works, each 7"h x 8"w x 4"d made of aluminum blocks and painted acrylic sheet.
Beginnings and endings and the futility of vanity. This is what my Sceneggiata Biers series is largely about.
I continue to investigate what and how skeletons can communicate to me. Ever since I was raised by Carmelite Nuns in Italy, who served the evening meal beneath a Baroque painting of St. Jerome contemplating a skull to teach about the futility of vanity, the skeleton has represented the end of the day and the hopefulness of spirit, a future within it, but, most importantly, the futility of vanity. So, for me, the skeleton always bound me to food as sustenance and a reminder of death, with the skull, not being a dead thing in itself, but having its own vitality just as the yellow wheat has in the farmer's field, ready for harvest. Perhaps I also learned to appreciate art from this painting. I pay homage to living bones in this Sceneggiata Series.
What does it feel like to meet death? Well, if healthy, it should be easy, but I also attempt to answer the question in how I pose the skeletons in various stages of mounting and consciously going to their final resting place on top of their own biers, offering themselves up, voluntarily, for the elevation to the next realm.
The glittering gems placed on top of the translucent plates resting on top of heavy metal bases represent the exquisite finality of personal death and the continuing regard for the bones which, although exalted in this world, their materiality makes them unable to be elevated, nor enter, into the spirit.
While the typical Neopolitan sceneggiata may include monologues, songs, dancing, and an expression of highly charged emotions such as revenge, hate & love, passion, jealousy, honor, betrayal, adultery, death and mutilation, and conflict between the good and bad guy, but the latter is usually within the context of a criminal organization in the region of Napoli, Italia. If in a local theater, a backdrop.
My Sceneggiata Biers do not include them all, only the backdrop, the gesticulating skeletal personages, and death.
note: I had Mario Merola's Guapparia as the musical accompaniment because Mario revived the sceneggiata which I love very much and I absolutely love his singing: So much feeling, unadulterated with pretense, and his quotes of Moslem style when calling to prayers, with their wavering vocalizations, is enchanting. However, YouTube reminded me that Merola's songs are copyrighted so I can't monetize my video, so I added one of YouTube's suggested songs to replace Merola's. I think it's complementary enough.
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