pirelli 4: daria subcalendar or allegory vs. symbolism

art of modeling

art of modeling

so, let’s finish my pirelli review. make sure you read the earlier 3 posts about it (see sidebar on the right) and be ready for the conclusion of my argument. which basically is: there’s a little subcalendar in the 2009 cal made by a few pictures of daria where in my opinion the conjunction of ecologism and erotism is successful. it’s not fontana calendar, it’s not de paula calendar, it’s not boscono calendar and so on. it’s daria and her allegoric body which overcomes the poor plain bland symbolism of the cal. that’s the pearl in the desert i have been talking about since the cal was available on line.

most of daria subcalendar consists of the series of the pics in the pond, where she’s finally alone, with no fontana around to contaminate the purity of her modeling. her effortless nudity is what we could call a pure ecological erotism. put together the fact that she never looks at the camera with a heterosexist gaze that beard must have understood is out of her skills, the fact that she never shows off her beauty, the subsequent fact that when she does nudity that is not autorefential, but a mean for a wider purpose. add her dramatic gender conflict between the feminine features (breast, hair, legs, and then melancholy, softness, modeling docility) and the masculine ones (edgy face, nervous muscles, narrow hips, and then boysh gesture, fierceness, a sort of modeling ascetism as a mark of her talent to get the essential in posing). you’ll get what we can call ecological in a sense of daria’s allegoric representation through her body of a beautiful nature in pain. unlike her colleagues daria is not a beautiful woman posing in a natural context, but she is a part of such a natural context, which is beautiful, confictual, dramatic, even painful as much as her body is. that’s the difference and that’s the secret of daria’s genius in modeling: daria is allegoric. if you allow me to intelletualise things a bit, she’s allegoric in the meaning of walter benjamin’s modern allegory: she represents an unsolvable conflict. that’s why, in karl lagerfeld’s words, she’s the face of today.

there are other pieces of daria cal i would save, like the pic with the dead bird, despite all its limits i talked about below. the tree picture with all the models on the branchs is suggestive. so is the march with the elephants. but i must say that whenever i watch the corresponding pieces of the backstage videos i find performance so superior to the final result that i can’t help regretting how much more beautiful the cal would have been if it was a bit more substantially daring. or maybe if it was shot by a different photographer with a less elementary symbolism in his mind (for instance i find fontana screaming ‘help’ close to daria under elephant very flat in the may extra 3). or maybe simply if it featured only daria in all 12 months. look at the pictures above. they are taken from the backstage videos available at menstyle.it with a few new images that weren’t in the official pirelli video. look at how much they epitomise what i meant with ecological erotism, at least in my view! so again, not all nudities look alike… too bad majority doesn’t catch it…

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3 Responses

  1. you know, eword, I finally realize how good it is that daria did the pirelli thing. it got you talking more about nudity! (ahh, my long awaited nudity post… *sigh) but why be so harsh on fontana? contaminate?! she did her best, even cried, so, much respect to the girl.

    it is interesting what you say, that daria through her beautifully painful modelling represents an unsolvable conflict and that this makes her the face of today. why? what is it about Today that is so much defined by unsolvable conflicts? why today more so than any other time before? conflict is universally present always no?

    beautiful screenshots by the way, they capture some sort of suffering very well. Looking at them, I can imagine how a calendar with her only would be, but I also see it being very intense, possibly too much so for a calendar that will be around you for a year. no one wants a depressing calendar, maybe the message will still go through, even if hidden?

    thanks for keeping this blog going!

  2. yeah, it’s true that conflict has always marked human history and societies. let’s say that daria’s body best expresses a sort of physical rebellion to her role as a top model and what is associated to such a role in our contemporary times. instead of enabling a mainstream identiftication or sublimation, she kind of expresses the discontents of western civilisation (just to paraphrase freud!).
    maybe rebellion is a too active word. maybe dissociation or uneasiness are better.

    i think a calendar with only daria would have be an experience. with no other models to contaminate her pictures!!!

  3. The Daria bit was definitely the most interesting in my opinion

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