Milva – Turin, Alexander Platz

No-one had ever called me a “root” before. Let alone a “square root”. Because our destiny, or our strength, is to stay like young leaves for ever, capable of being reborn every spring, moved by the air, the light, the breezes from near and far, and thus continuing to exist on new planes, in new projects and ideas, as many as there are seasons, happily switching between Merini and Dürrenmatt, Maurensig and Gaslini. Naturally the vital sap we constantly produce ends up in trunks and feeds into a thriving underground circulation system. Isn’t that the way it should be? I’m perfectly happy about it. And so it is that new emanations appear, flowering shrubs as round as vinyl records, and that vaguely expressionist blue mask in the streets of Turin one snowy morning, pretending to be in Alexanderplatz! It’s no laughing matter! When Franco Battiato wrote that song for me in 1982, the wall still existed, and getting from West Berlin to Alexanderplatz was not exactly a picnic: the underground stations you could take in the west were ghost stations in the east, there was a barbed-wire barrier through the Brandenburg Gate, and Franco, who played to packed stadiums dressed in white with sandals on his feet, won me over with the way he was like no-one else at all! The magnetic allure of the lyrics, brought straight to the heart by consummately simple and effective melodies; you see Franco was thinking of my Marlene, “my Germany” – the theatres, the crowds, the passion, the constant trips to Germany, the non-stop, almost frenetic success. Frantic, bulimic, the Eighties? Exciting without a doubt, thrilling but also sophisticated, full of contaminations (I was balanced on a tightrope between La Scala and the Palasport), inevitably à bout de souffle – at least for me – between records (eight in the Eighties, what a coincidence) Piazzolla, Brecht, Vangelis, Berio, Battiato, Jannacci…so what does Turin have to do with Berlin, is Scemenzo an imitator or does he seek more from these famous roots that might be square like the blocks in Turin (but not in Berlin), and that are a bit legendary for me too – I got married in Turin and also spent a much more radical period of my life there (we were talking about roots) before then … but why not? This aura is interesting to cultivate above all if there is an aesthetic dimension, motivation, a modus operandi: good music, television – at least there was proper television in those days. Antonello Falqui and I for example did the show Al Paradise, which was a way of reinventing a television personality: what can you invent nowadays? As Brice Coniglio rightly says, what you get on TV is your next-door neighbour entertaining you with stories of swingers, supermarkets and her cousin’s sexual predilections…

Trash: I can’t stand the word. And I know it makes ConiglioViola lose their rag too. It’s something we have in common. I rarely go on television. I hardly ever watch it either. Will ConiglioViola go on? That could be one reason for watching, but art suffers from a chronic lack of coverage. I hope they do get some coverage, especially for those faceless Magritte-style mermaids, and that wonderful female monster that hops around digital purple fields. And while we’re on the subject, I have never believed in superstitious rubbish – I rarely wear the colour myself, but only because of my hair.

I mean, how could La Rossa wear purple?


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