The Peacock

Federico Martelli

The monument to Goethe is like a lighthouse for those who venture at night into the gardens of Villa Borghese. The layering of dreams and desires is evident. Energetic runners intersect like arrows the lives of those that roam aimlessly. The Temple of Diana, the presence of Faust and the Casa del Cinema draw a triangulation that works as if it was a spell. The full moon in Leo certainly helps. Goat’s feet can be heard behind the dark, the half-men look and roam, they are just shadows outlined by the orange light of the street lamps far behind. Buses carrying people after work and carabinieri cars with their blue flashing lights pass by, but no one seems to notice? The spell is working. Each to each’s own ritual in their own tempos. Like an atemporal collectivity, everyone is somehow together but discreetly apart. How much trust, I wonder, between these unknowns. The dance commences many times every night. The half-goat moves slowly and elegantly near a tree trunk, looking for cover, other half-goats walk closer, passing by, trying to distinguish any feature, waiting for the men’s pupils to dilate and see through the night. The walk continues to another tree. A new configuration appears. Figures under trees and figures walking slowly in between. Decisions are taken, strategies are revised. Time to move or time to stay. A young man arrives, walks slowly, instantly turning the arena into a market. The fruit is for him to pick. All the goats wishing for a pact with the Devil, youth and riches forever, their soul in return.

Villa Borghese gardens, 2021

The monument to Goethe is like a lighthouse for those who venture at night into the gardens of Villa Borghese. The layering of dreams and desires is evident. Energetic runners intersect like arrows the lives of those that roam aimlessly. The Temple of Diana, the presence of Faust and the Casa del Cinema draw a triangulation that works as if it was a spell. The full moon in Leo certainly helps. Goat’s feet can be heard behind the dark, the half-men look and roam, they are just shadows outlined by the orange light of the street lamps far behind. Buses carrying people after work and carabinieri cars with their blue flashing lights pass by, but no one seems to notice? The spell is working. Each to each’s own ritual in their own tempos. Like an atemporal collectivity, everyone is somehow together but discreetly apart. How much trust, I wonder, between these unknowns. The dance commences many times every night. The half-goat moves slowly and elegantly near a tree trunk, looking for cover, other half-goats walk closer, passing by, trying to distinguish any feature, waiting for the men’s pupils to dilate and see through the night. The walk continues to another tree. A new configuration appears. Figures under trees and figures walking slowly in between. Decisions are taken, strategies are revised. Time to move or time to stay. A young man arrives, walks slowly, instantly turning the arena into a market. The fruit is for him to pick. All the goats wishing for a pact with the Devil, youth and riches forever, their soul in return.

Villa Borghese gardens, 2021

  • Federico Martelli, architecte, Rotterdam.
  • Federico Martelli, architect, Rotterdam.
  • Federico Martelli, architetto, Rotterdam.