|Marilena Nardi, The Skin, November 5, 2016.|
"As she screams, the skin is flayed from the surface of her body, no part is untouched. Blood flows everywhere, the exposed sinews are visible and the trembling veins quiver, without skin to hide them: you can number the internal organs, and the fibers of the lungs, clearly visible in her chest".
Marilena Nardi, June 8, 2017:
Love, all of a sudden
"She kills herself for money, or from the sense of guilt,
however, she always kills herself.
She even kills herself through the caresses"
I have taken the small liberty of adding the "s" to the "he" by Ovid on the flaying of Marsyas, Apollo reveling in the gory display of his powers.
It is not for the faint at heart reading Ovid, nor is it seeing Titian's masterpiece on Marsyas' skin being stripped off his body, and yet that painting has made it to be ranked one of the very best of all times.
Marilena Nardi is referencing the mythological heritage on the severance of the body. The female body is no longer the one of voluptuous promise, showing maximum of skin in anticipation of being raped by a Greek/Roman god.
That skin has already been wrung out. She has been raped.
Marilena Nardi, May 7, 2017.
"Those like me screaming in silence,
because their voice is not confused with tears"
That hand seizing the heart, wringing the female body apart. The destruction of her body on the promise of love. At once destruction and self-destruction, walking into her own demise. The female body is an entity against which actions are taken, some of them are actions of her own, emotionally and physically bringing herself beyond all boundaries.
Some of the present cartoons are quoting the poet Alda Merini, who wrote on a similar theme, in her case coming from a life of a deeply troubled mind, but Marilena Nardi is placing the violence portrayed in words beyond day and age. This is woman of all times wringing out her soul, at once wounded from without and bleeding from within.
|Marilena Nardi, Thirst, January 16, 2017.|
|Marilena Nardi, April 19, 2017.|
"And then you find that one day it is you, who has the weapon, but do not shoot,
because he who hurt you is no longer of importance to you"
Note the tight muscle of the upper arm above clutching the hammer, freeing herself of the nail through her mind. A tiny detail underlined by the thickening of line next to it, with the center of the composition in the curving of her back, marking her determination in the straight line through the muscled arm and the exposed nipple of the place where her heart ought to be and leading on directly to the hammer. An operation physically as painful if not more than letting the nail stay in place. Yet, she is ready.
So too is Venus with her mirror. Not to enjoy the flawlessness of her skin, as we have always seen her. She has a job of pain before her; removing not so much the spikes in her body as the hearts caught on them, and while she does so, let us give the final word to Alda Merini on the soul of the artist:
L'imperative categorico del poeta è di morire prima di cominciare a esistere
The categorical imperative of the poet is to die before beginning to exist.
|Marilena Nardi, The Grooming, April 26, 2017.|
The cartoons shown are courtesy of Marilena Nardi and must not be reproduced without her permission.