October 5, 2021
The sculpture by Emanuele Stifano unveiled by former PM Giuseppe Conte. (Courtesy: Italia2TV)
The latest public monument to draw a bitter outcry is a sexually suggestive statue of a female field worker in Italy, which was accused of promoting sexism by politicians this week.
The statue, which depicts a young woman wearing a transparent dress, body-hugging dress, was presented on Saturday in a ceremony attended by a mostly male audience, including former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, in the city of Sapri, in Italy’s southern Campania region. Created by sculptor Emanuele Stifano, it is a tribute to the 19th-century poem “La Spigolatrice di Sapri” (The Gleaner of Sapri) by Luigi Mercantini, which tells the story of Carlo Pisacane, an early socialist thinker who led a failed attempt to liberate the Bourbon Kingdom of Naples.
The poem describes an attempted coup by insurgents in 1857 that was put down by locals. The statue depicts a peasant woman from the poem.
Laura Boldrini, a former Speaker of the Italian Senate, called it "an offense to women," adding "male chauvinism is one of the evils of Italy." Monica Cirinna, a senator in Italy's center-left Democratic Party, called for the statue's removal and deemed it "a slap on the face of history and of women, who are still (treated as) sexualized bodies."
Monica Cirinna, a senator in Italy's center-left Democratic Party, called for the statue's removal and deemed it "a slap on the face of history and of women, who are still (treated as) sexualized bodies."
The town's mayor is defending the statue, which he said was "made with skill and impeccable interpretation" by the artist Emanuele Stifano.
Stifano defended the work, writing on Facebook that if he had been afforded full creative liberty on its design, the statue would have been “completely naked . . . simply because I am a lover of the human body.” He added that it was “useless” to offer explanations for the artwork to critics “who absolutely only want to see depravity.”
|Prev||[CRITIQUE] 심현섭: 공공미술 10/ 동시대 공공미술의 공론화: 세라의 <기울어진 호> 논쟁(2)|
|Next||[NEWS] NFB Partners with MOCA Toronto to Produce Public Digital Artwork ‘Charity’|