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On Wednesday, at the Alberta Pane Gallery booth during the opening preview of The Armory Show, Italian performance artist Romina de Novellis presented a one-day performance of her transformative work, La Gabbia. With a focus on the vulnerability of the body in public spaces, de Novellis created what she calls a “living picture” of carnal suffering through her repetitive yet accumulative actions, additionally provoking the viewer’s sense of taste and smell with edible editions of the piece, released in collaboration with Kreëmart, and an original scent by Arquiste Parfumeur.
During the performance, de Novellis rested naked on a bed of 500 white roses, confined within a boxed chicken-wire cage. Over time, she pushed flowers through the walls of her entrapment, one by one, gradually sculpting a story of romantic suffocation under the eye of the public. At the close of La Gabbia, only the artist’s silhouette was discernible through the white walls of marred blossoms.
The exclusive edible pieces from Kreëmart featured single roses, evocative of the female body, crystallized in sugar and encased within a thin glass sphere to create a delicate tension reflective of the performance. Arquiste’s scent “ELLA” sprang from the same vein, infusing sweet floral oils with sensual hints of the body. Both were distributed by the artist during the performance.