Antonio Moscogiuri - May 2020
I think I spent the last part of last year complaining that a new leap year would come soon.
My relationship with these 366 (365 + 1) days that repeat cyclically every four years has never been idyllic. From what I remember, I always remember the leap years that are the forerunners of changes and changes, or simply of unpleasant and unwanted contingencies. I believe that this 2020 has absolutely not disappointed expectations. Indeed, I suppose it has reached its peak in the ranking of the most complicated leap years I have ever remembered.
However, there is always a positive morality to be grasped by looking through the cracks of what seems to us to be a complicated life experience. The situation of global instability, due to the always looming pandemic risk, has forced us to stay at home for a long time, without being able to see anyone (or almost), without being able to touch anyone, without being able to live in the way we were used to.
After a first shock, which saw all our plans go up in smoke, our projects cultivated for years crumble like sand, we learned to live with this situation. But let's not make mistake, there has been talk of the rediscovery of a new life, a new thinking, a new work.
Nothing true, in my opinion. We simply made virtue out of necessity. We adapted, which we human beings have done through the centuries. Waiting for our old reality to return, aware of the fact that in reality it would never be like past again. But be careful, there was something to treasure.
While we lived in this big bubble, this dimension unknown to us in which cars were not seen passing under the dwelling balcony, where only the noise of buses, ambulances and helicopters could be heard, we rediscovered our spaces and reformulated our habits.
I personally have not suffered from segregation at all.
Since my normal life is consumed around people and places, divided between appointments, vernissages, fashion shows, meetings and events, I discovered the privilege of an absolute stop.
A stop shared with the whole world. I enjoyed this moment, I enjoyed being able to stay up late night and sleep until mid-day, I enjoyed seeing films after dinner, a simple pleasure that I hadn't had the opportunity to enjoy in past years, I enjoyed nothing, of not planning, not answering the phone, not disturbing me for the arrival of unpleasant emails, living slowly and with listless lightness. And most importantly, perhaps, I also fell in love. Living the first moment of the relationship with that intensity and that dreamy and poignant expectation that has always been told in the novels.
And then I got bored, how wonderful to have been able to rediscover boredom. The real boredom, that which I felt when I were not able to go out to play because my parents forced me to remain closed in my room while they rested in the afternoon.
Of course, the repercussions that this situation has and will have on our economies will be tragic, terrible, and frighten me a lot. Fashion and fashion publishing ask themselves what it will be, climbing up into pindaric flights, press releases and declarations. But in reality nobody knows what will happen. Slowed down times? Maybe. No more parades? Impossible. Fashion thrives on self-reference, lives on encounters between people, who in turn exchange ideas and images. And from the meeting of these the dream of unreachable luxury is born.
If there is one thing that we have learned during these suspended months, it is that the much acclaimed and wonderful digital world can never replace the multiplicity and unpredictability of interactions that take place in a world that is real. And this is true for fashion, for art, for finance, for politics, for every aspect of life.
What could be more beautiful than being able to contemplate a statue of Canova standing at few centimeters? What could be more magical than to sit and admire a majestic painting by Gericault? How nice is it to get ready and go out all of a sudden and not to be late at the theater? How rewarding is it to look into students' eyes and tell them about their experiences? How can you forget the taste of a homemade sandwich bought along the street after a dancing night spent in the beach?
We are human beings because social animals, and these shortcomings have cost us a lot. In the world that we are going to live again, will it be as before, as we left it and how do we remember it? It is not known, and honestly, who cares.
This is not the time to think about it, now is the time of “right now”.
Antonio Moscogiuri - Antonio Moscogiuri, fashion journalist, professor at the New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, creative director and editor of CAP 74024, Les Hommes Publics & Les Femmes Publiques.
Ph. Alessio Boni (1), Marcus Cooper (2), Naguel Rivero (3-4).