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beauty party

Post #279 • May 18, 2004, 10:30 AM • 1 Comment

Now here's a political party I can get behind: The Beauty Party.

The guy in the picture is Vittorio Sgarbi, a member of Italian parliament in the same party as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Non abbiamo bisogno di lifting means "We don't need a facelift." Sgarbi, quoted in The Art Newspaper:

The moment has come to take note of the importance of every precious survival from the past and to provide for its protection, since every time we have fancied that we were improving or modernising, we have lost the flavour of places, their purity, their individuality. When a place has been contaminated, when the modern has taken the place of the old, that precious fusion between the creations of Nature, Man and Time is lost forever. The Political Party for Beauty (Partito della Bellezza) asks citizens to take back responsibility for their cities from the unscrupulous bureaucrats who randomly and without any qualms of aesthetic conscience decide to inflict irreparable horrors on them. These bureaucrats think they are the owners, not the custodians, of an historical inheritance that they let fall apart in their hands.

Okay, these guys are as reactionary as samurai and probably too far to the right to make me feel comfortable at the fundraising dinners. Nevertheless, look at the strip malls surrounding you and ask yourself if things wouldn't be nicer if ugliness in the built environment was considered to be the civic crime that it truly is.

It's interesting is that these conservatives, unlike ours, are ferociously environmentalist, and their bottom line is aesthetic:

The threat to parks, the coastline, the mountains, the acoustics of our theatres, the plants, even to the old plaster surfaces of buildings, to everything that is fragile and seems easy to replace with the feeble inventions of frustrated architects, must not find us weaponless. We need to develop a political awareness of the extraordinary cultural identity of Italy, whose role - to be beautiful - is a great gift that must not be squandered.

The official website of il Partito della Bellezza is here. It's suspect that the Beauty Party didn't come up with a better logo, but it's a nascent movement. (Via, as usual, ArtsJournal.)

On a related note, I'm thinking about volunteering for the John Kerry campaign. Why? Oh, a bunch of reasons.




May 18, 2004, 6:29 PM

I'd think about volunteering for the Sgarbi campaign, if only I could trust any politician not to have ulterior motives for espousing even the most exalted ideals. I'll tell you this much, I have no confidence at all in the aesthetic sense of Bush or Kerry--though Kerry seems rather more blow-dried and powder-puffed than W (he certainly struck me that way at his recent UM appearance) .



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