Welcome to GIBBIN HOUSE!

When I first started this blog about the misadventures of a nascent author, I had only a small novel under my belt, titled Gibbin House. The building that bears the name is a fictitious postwar era safe-house, as many might have existed, and the London home of my motley crew of exiles. I could not anticipate then the degree to which I would join its ranks of writers and artists, but since publishing my book in 2011, I have had the greatest privilege of opening my own art gallery and of exploring my love of the written word through visual poetry and paper sculptures. Yet much like the girl who first started blogging two years ago, I suspect I don't know what I'm doing half the time. As such, Gibbin House remains a refuge for ramblings...and on occasion a haven for little triumphs.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Homage to Casa Marsano: "Se Vende" Visual Poetry Installation by Carola Perla Unveiled

This May 11th, I unveiled my latest visual poetry installation "Se Vende" during ATELIER 1022's 2-Year Anniversary event.

 It was a special evening for me, as it also marked 2 years since the launch of Gibbin House.

How strange, I kept thinking to myself as I stood posing for photos, that a work I had once lived with behind closed doors for nearly nine years was no longer a private thing, indeed for two years already it had aged, shaken out its skirts and petticoats in the public eye, gotten all adult on me like a teenager graduating college.  It gives you that feeling of "when did I get so old?".  And yet, I also felt relieved.  Relieved, realizing that two years into the completion of Gibbin House, the reason for its existence, the need to exorcise and 'verarbeiten' (as the Germans say) which drove me to write it in the first place, remained the same force behind my work today.

I realized that, although I had never admitted it to myself as I tinkered away at my novel, I was afraid of finishing the book and having nothing left to say.  Perhaps it's why I worked on it for so many years...but looking at the emotional investment in "Se Vende", I knew that wasn't the case.  One way or another I have found projects to express my world views. I have looked for ways to lay things bare, expose ironies and elevate beauties, as an artist ought.  "Se Vende" is probably most emblematic of this impetus - it addresses the sudden and controversial tearing down of Casa Marsano, a known Lima landmark from 1941-2002 and a house that holds a special place in the history of my family.  The building, which was far from dilapidated, could not be saved because it was deemed by authorities to hold no cultural or architectural value (when I see photos of Ocean Drive from the 40's and the row of Art Deco palaces that used to stud that street, I am reminded that Casa Marsano is not the only house to have been so disregarded.)  Judging by the websites, articles, and blogs dedicated posthumously to Casa Marsano, it's clear that the landmark was not only significant to my relatives, but to a city at large.  It's destruction begs the question of what we value in ourselves when we destroy the monuments to beauty that promised such permanence, such continuation.  The poem in "Se Vende" does this by repeating 'for sale' and using cultural references to ask how far we go in selling our patrimony.  The accompanying voice recording of me reading the poem add to the echo effect.

I'm proud of this piece, this examination of a house, my second 'house' as it were:) From Gibbin House to Casa Marsano, I will continue to strive for authenticity and illuminating expression.  Here is to another two years...

And thank you to the Miami SunPost for the great write-up in anticipation of the unveiling.  Follow the link here to read the article in full: http://miamisunpost.com/art-visual-poet-carola-perla/

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