As we noted with our recent travel guide to San Francisco’s Italian cultural heritage, we’re suckers for Italian culture here at Flavorpill — if nothing else, we probably drink enough espresso to qualify for some sort of surrogate citizenship arrangement. So it was that we were rather amused and gratified to come across this series of hand-drawn posters of great inventions that Italy has given the world — even if, um, there’s only four of them. It’s quality not quantity, eh? Anyway, the posters are the work of Edinburgh-based Italophile and graphic designer Emily Isles — check them out after the jump, and also be sure to head on over to her website to check out some of her other work. … Read More
Photographer Gianni Cipriano visited six different unconventional beauty pageants throughout Italy, which inspired his series Perfect. None of the contestants have an ideal, model-type figure, some are quite older than others, a few weren’t born as women, and several have clearly gone under the knife in search of eternal youth or enhanced features. Whatever the case may be, Cipriano has heightened their perfectly imperfect beauty by embracing each curve, fold, and droop. He photographed the women in their garish gowns, in front of colorful curtains. The results are somewhat cartoonish, but there’s a deeper meaning for Cipriano.
“In Italy, in particular, beauty has become a political tool during the Berlusconi era. Since the ’80s, his media empire has introduced a culture of luxury and sex to shape his electorate. Italy became in the mean time a country where half-naked beautiful women are plucked from TV studios and elevated into powerful positions. This culture has generated an unprecedented wave of castings and beauty pageants for girls and women of all ages all over Italy … Beauty dictated by our politicized consumerist society is emulated by the masses.”
Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More
Be Yourself Movement (BYM) is an Italian art collective with an agenda. The group has made some uninvited collaborations with advertisements found on billboards, bus stop shelters, and the walls of subway stations throughout various cities across Europe. Their mission: to rally against the “daily bombardment of messages that aim to impose upon us one collective thought, one way of being and living and one appearance.” Whether BYM has any influence on people’s thoughts about consumerism and identity or not, the result is something interesting to look at while waiting for public transportation.
View more of their amendments to advertising after the jump. … Read More
A documentary look at billionaire Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Videocracy exposes a country’s de facto rule-by-television.
Filmmaker Erik Gandini interviews members of Berlusconi’s media militia, revealing how the world leader has developed a built-in public-relations task force by controlling nearly all of Italy’s news outlets. Berlusconi’s trusted friend, talent agent and “grand puppeteer” Lele Mora, openly praises Mussolini’s erstwhile influence, just as his thuggish, one-time protégé — rogue paparazzo Fabrizio Corona — uncovers the system’s flaws. … Read More
Erik Gandini’s new film Videocracy depicts present day Italy as a country where there is little separation between media and government; Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the richest man in the country and owns over 90 percent of the broadcast media. This means that the television channels are state controlled in a country that purports to be a democracy, not a… Read More