Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Your correspondent reports from Palermo, where the latest edition of Manifesta has just kicked off. Since it began in 1996, the itinerant biennale has earned itself a reputation as the most offbeat art festival in Europe – and this edition, its 12th, looks like staying admirably true to form: in one video installation, for instance, at the city’s botanic garden, ‘seven young men walk into a Taiwanese forest and engage in intimate contact with ferns’.
But if visitors find themselves hungry for some more conventional sustenance, help is at hand. The Sicilian capital’s tourist office distributes a free map sponsored by a local pizzeria, which has handily printed its menu on its reverse. In the arty spirit of things, the restaurant, Il Mirto e la Rosa, offers a range of pizzas named in honour of some of history’s greatest painters.
Picasso, for example, is granted doughy immortality with a pizza covered in tomato, red onion jam and prosciutto crudo; while Modigliani and Turner are both meaty offerings. Renoir, perplexingly, gives his name to the restaurant’s sole vegan offering – a complex number involving potato and radishes.
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