THE HOUSE OF MIRTH

Posted on September 26, 2012 by Art for Housewives

More MUY MARCOTTAGE:


While sewing on this dress, for some unknown reason, I thought about Lily Bart.

Many years ago, I accompanied my daughter to Aix-in-Provence for a language course.  My reading companion was Edith Wharton’s THE HOUSE OF MIRTH.  Published in 1905, the book gets its title from Ecclesiastes 7:4: The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.


The protagonist is Lily Bart, 29 and unmarried. Lily will not marry the man she really loves because he is not rich thus dedicates her time trying to find a wealthy husband.  Unfortunately, Lily sabotages all of her possibilities for marriage as she unwittingly gets involved in a scandal that will eternally ruin her.

I remember quite well the night I finished reading THE HOUSE OF MIRTH because I cried and cried. Why did the book touch me so much? Was it just because I was tired from travelling or because I was leaving my daughter alone in France for a month?  Or because I was just overdosing on empathy?


At the turn of the century, tableau vivant parties were quite trendy.  The idea was to recreate a “living picture”  where a group of people dressed up and, with the use of props, tried to recreate a famous painting.


At one point in the book, Lily is invited to take part in a Tableau Vivant for a High Society fashion event. She portrays herself as Mrs. Richard Bennett Lloyd by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Lily would like to be seen as beautiful and pure instead of as an attractive woman desperately trying to find a rich husband – the person she really is.

Lily was stuck in a pose.

(left) Jean-Antoine Watteau: Ceres/Summer (right) Lily Bart/Gillian Anderson poses as Watteau’s “Summer” in a “tableau vivant”

Tableaux vivants: The Tableau Vivant in Literature + TABLEAUX VIVANTS, Living Pictures and Attitude in Photography, Film, and Video.

Other:  Dulce Dolce, «so I did a colour comparison instead. Matching some of my favourite Dolce & Gabbana outfits to vintage travel posters, so that i can dream about going to exotic destinations and looking awesome at the same time».

The Muy Marcottage dress pictured above, “House of Mirth”, is made from second hand clothing bought at the outdoor market near my studio (San Lorenzo, Rome).  The clothing was cut up then completely hand sewn together again. If you are interested in the dress “House of Mirth,” contact contact Julia & Co.

My Greek Retablos

There was this big white space above the stairs leading to the bedroom that used to stare at me.  I couldn’t stand the glare so I decided to stare back by creating a home gallery and had three rows of picture shelves put on it. To enclose the area, I painted it orange.  When it’s finished, I’ll call my little gallery Ikastikos(εικαστικός) which in Greek means “representative” thus a word often related to the visual arts.

Obviously, the shelves need something special so I decided to make Greek retablos.  That is, drawings that express an appreciation and expressed in Greek since we’re on Paros.  Of course, I needed the help of my Greek teacher, Katerina.

Retablos are small ex-voto paintings (generally painted on tin) made as an offering of gratitude for an answered prayer. It’s all about the  Aesthetics of Appreciaton: If you’re lucky and don’t know it, it’s like not being lucky at all. So to keep luck alive, it must be recognized. And retablos are a means of offering thanks for this luck.

cardboard retablo breeze

Having many things to be grateful for, several years ago I made a series of cardboard retablos. They were so joyful to make. Because expressing gratitude is good for your health.  It makes you more optimistic, keeps you from always rocketing around only yourself, and, if you think about what you have to be thankful for when you go to bed, helps you sleep better.  In other words, gratitude detoxes and fortifies the spirit.

 So, for my Greek retablos, I made a list of 15 things in my life worth appreciating.  One of those was about a dress. More than a dress, it’s a long huipil and so very special because it was one of three El Suavecito brought me from Mexico. On the front of the huipil are two big embroidered birds.  They are quite lovely and not something you would normally see on Paros. So often people stare at me when I wear it. Obviously I am happy to have this magical dress but the real gratitude is directed towards El Sauvecito who loved me enough to give me something he knew would give me much pleasure. Everytime I wear the huipil, I think about him.

pajaros y palomas

Sergio's dress

ευχαριστω για τη μεζικανικη φορεμα γιος μου μου εδωσε στι ο γυναικες κοιταζουν

Sergio's dress

All the Greek retablo drawings are mounted on discarded cardboard.  The frames are made from junk paper rolled into rounds glued together thus ecological as well. Because in my heart there’s constant gratitude for nature that keeps us all alive.

Mal Oo

Enjambment and Janet Cooper

Janet Cooper is an extraordinary woman. Artist and world traveller, Janet collects no dust! Below are fotos of her wearing the Muy Marcottage dress “Enjambment” worn during her various travels including to the Easter Islands, Palermo, Valencia, Japan, El Camino de Santiago, and New York.

janet at los ojos

Janet visiting Studio Los Ojos in Rome wearing a hat she created herself.

Below is a post about Janet reblogged from ART FOR HOUSEWIVES blog in 2013.

 

Art Narratives by Cynthia Korzekwa

Janet Cooper is a friend and one of my favorite artists. She also owns the Muy Marcottage dress “Enjambment” and gave me a thrill by having herself photographed in the dress in various situations.  Scroll below to see some of these fotos.

Enjambment” dress on exhibit, Paros

Janet’s incredible dresses

Janet Cooper

more of Janet’s dresses “Birds & Babies”and “Blossoms”

Janet Cooper

Janet wearing “Enjambment” surrounded by her delightful art dresses at the  Die Formeister Exhibition.

 Janet Cooper’s CHAIRS at the  Die Formeister Exhibition.

 Janet At the MOMA Opening for the Quay Bros Exhibit  (Janet loves hats!)

Janet  wore “Enjambment” while walking the last few miles of the El Camino de Santiago.

The term “enjambment” is a literary term.  It indicates a line in poetry that continues going on beyond a line-break thus, in a certain way, goes beyond its boundaries.  Just…

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The House of Mirth

Art Narratives by Cynthia Korzekwa

More MUY MARCOTTAGE:


While sewing on this dress, for some unknown reason, I thought about Lily Bart.

Many years ago, I accompanied my daughter to Aix-in-Provence for a language course.  My reading companion was Edith Wharton’s THE HOUSE OF MIRTH.  Published in 1905, the book gets its title from Ecclesiastes 7:4: The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.


The protagonist is Lily Bart, 29 and unmarried. Lily will not marry the man she really loves because he is not rich thus dedicates her time trying to find a wealthy husband.  Unfortunately, Lily sabotages all of her possibilities for marriage as she unwittingly gets involved in a scandal that will eternally ruin her.

I remember quite well the night I finished reading THE HOUSE OF MIRTH because I cried and cried…

View original post 282 more words