Belle

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Casalisca

Casalisca

1989: based on “La Grande Odalisque” by Ingres. This was the second of the series “Le Belle” (The Beauties). One day a very striking girl looked into my gallery in Bologna, she was half Chinese, half Ecuador Indian and very tall: Susanna was to become my Odalisca. I dressed the set with things which I happened to have in the studio: the old fashioned phone (which worked and still does), the vacuum cleaner (which has a similar form to the hookah of the original), feather duster, the shopping basket, the cassette player, but also more exotic things more redolent of the harem such as expensive Etro cashmere left over from a previous shoot. In this curious scene lay the beautiful Susanna, The Casalisca: part housewife (casalinga in Italian) part odalisca or courtesan; part modern, part timeless. This is a play on words, casalinga means housewife in Italian while odalisca (or odalisque) is a Turkish courtesan.

More about Casalisca on my blog

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