January 30, 2007

cena italiana

a project i laxadaisically forgot to mention: cooking italian dinner at least once a week. so far i've only documented one of the dinners (one of three). this is problematic: how do i discuss my art project without documentation of it? how do i prove it was art? how do others discuss it? because what i realize is: it's so much more about being than proving.

sometimes i'm overwhelmed with ideas. sometimes i'm dry as a desert for weeks. both are exhausting. thinking is exhausting. feeling sad and frustratd and busy and lonely are all so exhausting. and then today i realized i wanted thai curry more than anything else. (eastern food has always been my comfort food.)

here's the menu so far.
jan. 19 Fettuccine with Marscapone, Toasted Walnuts and Basil

jan. 26 Fussili with Carmelized Onions and Walnuts

jan. 27 Fennel Soup

January 29, 2007

January 28, 2007

sono già italiana

birthing beauties. everything i strive towards.

January 25, 2007

pomegranate premonition

today was a ridiculously lousy day. by 4 pm i realized that i simply could not not eat a pomegranate. season is over. i only have two (now one) left. it's like they must be preserved until next year, or an emergency.

i cut it open. but it was different this time. it was like it knew i had begun bleeding. and it bled that much more. for me. like sympathy pains, sympathy bleeding. i peeled away all the seeds, out of the water this time. they plucked off the dry skin so easily. it was a mess. the blood splattered up onto my hands, arms, and sweatshirt. almost violent. almost.

inside the fruit are all my ancestors. all the women of italy. and we come together. we bled. and then healed.

January 23, 2007

meeting neighbors

tonight i had italian lessons. they are going well, thanks for asking. and do you know who i met?? alisse! and do you know where she is from??? NETTUNO!! perchè è questo importante? mi domandi. perchè è la città next to anzio, dove la famiglia di paolo hanno una casa di estate vicino il mare. in fact, i was in nettuno last summer. allora, i will have to go next summer. perhaps we can meet up. pazzo!! small world...

January 20, 2007

January 18, 2007

but more about the neck-laces

i've never been a great swimmer. i was one of the irrational secretive ones that still believed there were sharks in the chlorinated pools of neighbors. ironically, i spent many summers as a child going to the beach without any worries. and these were the beaches with man-of-war monitor lifeguards. as i got older, (free) swimming pools seemed less acessible (not to mention gross). but when i went to italy, and especially when i went to capri, i was determined to swim in the ocean again. (although, paolo insists on reminding me it's only a sea.) and so, i absorbed the salt that had once absorbed into my great grandmother. i've spent my entire life staring at a painting of her swimming that tyrrhenian sea. the current is strong, the beaches are rocky, but it was fantastic. italians swim like fish. i have to practice. italians tan ridiculously well. that one i will practice less.

napoli is the main medium to capri. paolo and i had a terrible fight before i left for napoli. we thought it was over. on the day that i decided to call him and tell him i still loved him, i walked down to the beach. i bought a stick of corn and sat way out on the rocks. i watched the men swim. now that i am home, i stare at my maps on the wall (and write cute stories). i stare at napoli every day.

"did i ever tell you that album is simply fantastic? you know i was never a huge fan. but this album. because his voice rattles inside my body. it's the perfect album for motion. for travel. like rising and falling. listening on the trains. walking on the sidewalks in naples. and i watched the lovers. i watched the sea. i ate corn and sat on those rocks. i laughed out into the sea at all the bullshit that piled up. because i had let go. goddamnit i had let go. i was only full of love. and i watched all the people walking, fishing, driving wrecklessly, the men swimming out in the sea where i would never go for all my stupid fears. i felt the air on my skin. and i truly felt whole. i always feel strange when i listen to this album."


i feel different when i wear my coral necklaces from capri.

January 16, 2007

la collaborazione

i am beginning a collaboration con il mio amico di napoli.

e fabio:


e fabio:

January 12, 2007

flesh and blood

my most favorite painting of rosina (that i have seen so far)
p.s. posting becomes slightly more difficult after red wine consumption

the beginning

rosina ferrara e george barse, jr.

January 11, 2007


i found a tutor. christina.

tues 3-4 pm
fri 11a-12 p

$15/hr reduced rate for poor gta

plus, i might get a job shooting portraits for her in exchange for lessons. i turned down the wedding request.

first letter


Hello, my name is Rachel (Maria Bernardo) James. I am a graduate student of art at the Ohio State University, and am seeking your help.

Maybe you recognize my middle names. They are the names of my great grandmother, Maria (Primavera) Bernardo. I am the daughter of Laura Bernardo, daughter of J.T. Bernardo. I am attempting to resurface the history of my family, perhaps even find family in Italy, although I know they have left the island (making things a tad more difficult).

I do not know much about you. I know that you are the great grandson of Barse’s sister (just as I am the great granddaughter of his model). I know that you worked in Rome for some time, and that you compiled a manuscript. I am writing to ask about the manuscript you compiled in 1980 of the letters Barse wrote his family during his study in Capri. I am of course interested in the story, but also the names of people that might also be in these letters. I know a few family members that have this manuscript, but I am writing to ask if you perhaps have transferred this manuscript to a digital file. If so, would it be too much to ask for you to email me those files? As I get older, more and more is beginning to unfold about my family and my past. It is my intention to know as much as I can. I will be in Italy for the summer, and have plans to move there once I graduate.

If you are curious about my artwork and what I am doing, feel free to ask. My work has been focused on identity for several years now, and this seems to be another extension of that. My ideas for my thesis so far seem to change, but they always seem to be about Italian women. Right now I am beginning to archive photographs of my great grandmother, learn why I was named for her, study Italian, interview family members, try to find this manuscript, and eventually find family.

I am attaching a picture that I found in Ma’s photo album. It was from August 1982. I would have been seven months old at the time. It is great grandma with you and your wife, Kristin. (I apologize for the poor quality scan – I used the cheapy one I have at home, instead of going up to school. Ha!)

I have other questions, as well, but I figured this would be a beginning point. I look forward to hearing from you. Your help is appreciated more than you realize.

Grazie Mille,