Nicoletta Cerasomma

Title: Cryptic Venus

About the Photo:

The main character of this project is a woman from Lucca, feminine figure that shaped her life based on her will. Doing so, she deprived themselves of her own identity in order to become symbolic icon, the reflection of the society she lived in.
What I want to represent in my pictures is her story and plumb the depth of her legacy that still affect our cultural heritage. For this reason, through a sharp selection of objects, I recall the cultural contest she lived in and, at the same time, emphasize her contribution to the creation of Lucca’ social and cultural context and local community identity.
Although her character is based on real person who really did exist, the mystery and the unknown which surround her let public link her to an imaginary world, made up of ancestral fears and archetypes.
Starting from the idea of community, intended as the set of stories, symbols, rituals that identify it, this project aims to dig the stereotypes and their emblematic function, seeking especially the deepest fears men have to face during their lives and the necessity of belonging to the Community. This is an introspective project focused on men’s worries such as solitude, suffering, incomprehension, detachment. This feelings floor the human being, unarmed and defenseless facing loss and confusion.

The Mansi family was well-known in the 16th century due to the trade of silk. Lucida loved luxurious things and sumptuous parties, as much as she loved being surrounded by lovers. Someone says she sat for hours admiring herself in the mirror. She was adored by men but people say she killed her partners after their encounters, by throwing them into trap-doors with innumerable sharp blades. Nowdays it is possible to see the trap near her bed in the villa. As the story goes, one day Lucida woke up and found a small wrinkle on her face and became desperate at losing her beauty. At that moment the devil appeared and promised her that she could remain young and beautiful for twenty years in exchange of her soul. She accepted. Twenty years later one dark stormy night, the devil reappeared claiming Lucida’s soul. she jumped into her carriage and began racing around the walls of Lucca but leaped from the wall ending up in a small lake where Lucida drowned. The ghost of the beautiful Lucida appears in Villa Mansi in Segromigno, where she used to entertain herself and kill her many lovers.