Careless was my thought that today would be simple, I had a promised set about photographing a halved pigs heart. Now for the record I am solely absurdly and somewhat morbidly ( for want of a better word ) obsessed with preservation and elevation……simply in the unliving. Now to casually be introduced to the beautiful Rosalia was an addition to an already fruitful day of practice, in addition the photography was to die for, although I did smash my mirror, appropriately after I finished!
This little preserved princess dubbed “sleeping beauty” resides in the famous catacombs capuchin-Palermo Sicily. Records indicate her birth in 1918, and death in 1920, aged two thought to be pneumonia . Her father bereft and confused, healed his broken heart with the help of renowned embalmer of the era ALFERDO SALIFIA. Now the interest in her is strnog for me yet my pull resides with the techniques whys and wherefores of the practice of embalming and how such a fete of public audience commands. The subject seems to be sleeping, perfectly preserved and outliving her fathers grief and generations to come……so the question again remains, do we preserve to elevate? There does not appear to be any other explanation to deem worthy, why on earth would we preserve anything if not to elevate its presence? To have a memory is no enough for some, and a god given right for others.
the catacombs can be viewed in Sicily and are somewhat a popular tourist attraction…….I just hope that in preserving her in grief, General Lombardo understands the depth in which he changed her purpose in life, as one in love the hardest thing is letting go, and the princess will continue to sleep as long as the masses deem her aesthetics fodder.
the life of professor ALFREDO SALAFIA can be found freely on the web and makes for interesting reading although I’m going to cover himself and others alike.
i leave you with this……IS PRESERVATION ELEVATION? Or do we elevate to preserve?