Bunga Bunga: Italian Politics and the Index of Sexual Subversion

…the book is a small marvel that connects Silvio Berlusconi’s late night sex parties to the economy of interchangeable ways in which we, or perhaps better, Berlusconi sees the women involved as further interchangeable fodder for his aggressive Viagra induced fuckathons.

 

Bunga Bunga
Self Published
Lorenzo Tricoli

By Brad Feuerhelm, ASX, December 2014

Two of the qualities in self-published photography books that I have come to admire most are ingenuity and limited editions. Lorenzo Tricoli has been making clever photography books for some time now. Mostly released in small editions under two hundred, he works away at his craft with an almost obsessive quality. “Bunga Bunga” is one of his latest offerings. Limited to just over one hundred copies, the book is a small marvel that connects Silvio Berlusconi’s late night sex parties to the economy of interchangeable ways in which we, or perhaps better, Berlusconi sees the women involved as further interchangeable fodder for his aggressive Viagra induced fuckathons.

Within the pages of the book is each of Berlusconi’s thirteen known Bunga Bunga conquests. Each portrait is divided into three pieces and each set of pages can be flipped through accordingly in thirds so that one set of vacant eyes matches with a different girls forced smile at times. The book culminates in the final image of Ruby, the under-aged Moroccan prostitute that Berlusconi found the most mediatized controversy over. Each of the thirteen women are named in the book and this index and the subversion of facial (pun intended) portraiture is given a layer of scientific posturing by means of police perpetrator identikits as sold by Smith and Wesson, which allegedly helped police interchange facial features of various known criminal typologies until a match was possible. That should not equate the women to criminals in any way let it be said. The identikit format is what makes this book a stretch past the limited material perhaps available on the women. It is also a bright strategy for the content.

 

Each portrait is divided into 3 pieces and each section can be flipped through accordingly in thirds so that one set of vacant eyes matches with a different girls forced smile at times.

 

The methodology found in this book also reminds one of Cesare Lombroso, the great Italian criminologist who flirted with research in physiognomy and criminally inherited genetic traits. Lombroso as an aside also felt that artistic genius was a form of hereditary insanity. On both accounts, he was probably wrong, but in the context of this superb little publication and within the context of transgressor of media, taste, and desire, Berlusconi would be the perfect hereditary genius of sexual insanity on the throne of corrupt Italian power structures. The book is tight and comical foray into the truest adage…”Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

 

 

 

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm, Images @ Lorenzo Tricoli.)

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