Pippa Bacca and Camilla Micheli

A smiling young girl with short hair in a wedding dress

By La Galleria Nazionale

La luna nel pozzo (2002) by Pippa BaccaLa Galleria Nazionale

The first question everyone asks me when I talk about hitchhiking is: “Aren't you afraid?” I’m not afraid.

Every so often, when it rains and many cars go by without stopping, then I’m afraid of them. Not because I am afraid of not arriving (I know that the person who will take me where I need to go will pass), but because I cannot understand how it is possible to leave a girl to wait in the rain; I weigh 50 kg, I cannot really put fear, and if anyone ever feared that I was armed, then I think it is enough to look at me to understand that it cannot be like this.

However, traveling by hitchhiking is by far the way I prefer; even if I am often forced to take other means due to excessive haste, I do not even have a tenth of the satisfaction that I would have hitchhiking.

La luna nel pozzo (2002) by Pippa BaccaLa Galleria Nazionale

Meanwhile, even a small trip is already a holiday if you do it by taking lifts from people who are themselves traveling, because every trip is a discovery. Like when you arrive from an “open door” and so little is known about who you will meet. And every time it is a discovery.

My trips with the Servas + Autostop combination are among other things the most economical that you can imagine: but they have a flaw, you always risk being left with a heartbroken by constant detachments! With some people a great or even a small friendship was born. With others we leave no reference and we never meet again.

About a year ago I got into the habit of photographing all those who give me a ride: I already have a beautiful collection and I would like to show it to everyone to demonstrate the wonder that surrounds us: human beings!

Pippa Bacca

La luna nel pozzo (2002) by Pippa BaccaLa Galleria Nazionale

Pippa Bacca and Camilla Micheli
(Milan, December 9, 1974 - Gebze, March 31, 2008)
(Venice, 1974)

It is a day in early April 2008 when the news of the death of Pippa Bacca, a young Milanese artist, are broadcast as the third or fourth title. The queer pseudonym chosen by Giuseppina Pasqualino Di Marineo arouses curiosity and pain, also because it accompanies the images of a smiling young girl with short hair dressed in a white wedding dress.

The news says that Giuseppina, Pippa, disappeared in Turkey during the traveling performance Brides on Tour, undertaken with her friend and colleague Silvia Moro. “At the wedding of her friend Margherita, the bride often told guests to be careful not to step on the train or other parts of the dress, because they would get dirty.

"Pippa found it curious that so much attention was paid to a dress that is worn only one day, and she started thinking of the wedding dress in reverse. A dress that lasts for an entire experience and becomes its witness, collects memories, “wearing out” and getting dirty. A single dress to take on a special journey, hitchhiking through countries where war is a reality or a very fresh memory, during which you can take it off just to sleep or when you wash it."

La luna nel pozzo (2002) by Pippa BaccaLa Galleria Nazionale

The bride has always been a symbol of femininity, love, family and purity, and on the day of the wedding – at least in theory – a moment of shared joy. All images being so difficult to associate with war. From all these ideas, therefore, the idea of comparing a positive symbol such as that of the bride with direct and real comparison with countries recently or currently affected by conflicts.”

It was March 8, 2008 when Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro left Milan for Jerusalem. Two artists in wedding dresses, traveling to celebrate marriage between peoples, to tell about peace, encounter and trust in men. And to show that, trusting others, one receives only well. A hitchhiking journey through countries devastated by wars. A complex project, with the artists on stage 24 hours a day, in their wedding dresses.

La luna nel pozzo (2002) by Pippa BaccaLa Galleria Nazionale

A performance carrying a message of peace, which was interrupted 23 days after its beginning in a tragic and heartbreaking way, with a man murdering Pippa.

Before this project, Pippa Bacca had already explored in her work the themes related to femininity, marriage and motherhood. A series of cut-outs from the Adamo ed Eva series (2006) are exhibited at Galleria Nazionale, in which the artist has cuts out fake leaves containing a series of drawings that symbolically tell the creation of the two female and male principles.

Ritratto presunto di Pippa ed Eva (2007) by Camilla MicheliLa Galleria Nazionale

The show exhibits also the large photograph Ritratto presunto di Pippa ed Eva, made by Camilla Micheli. In 2007 the artist realized that she has different personalities, five to be exact.

One of these is Eva Adamovich, with a pin-up look, a lot of make-up and high heels, who, together with Pippa, lends herself to a surreal photograph conceived and taken by Camilla Micheli: Pippa Bacca and her alter ego Eva Adamovich, portrayed posing in the style of the Portrait présumé de Gabrielle d’Estrées et de sa soeur la duchesse de Villars from 1594, exhibited in the Louvre in Paris.

Paola Ugolini

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