Almost Naked Almost Black

Performance-Installation by Denise Palmieri (2017)

The artist molds a plaster sculpture of a traditional Austrian “Dirndl” dress while performing a rendition of a “Wienerlied” (32 Groschen by Hermann Leopoldi), a vintage Viennese song dating back to 1933, which narrates tales of hardship with an uplifting tone. In her role as an outsider, she bears the weight of embracing the culture she has immersed herself in. The dress serves as both armor and vulnerability, shielding her while also laying bare her identity. Embracing her status as a foreigner, she stakes her claim to space, demonstrating her ability to represent not just her own heritage but any culture. For an artist, she asserts, is a citizen of the world.
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