House of Art, Brno, Czech republic
#Attitudes is a sculptural lecture performance referring to Emma Lady Hamilton’s emancipatory performing practice called Attitudes or Mimoplastic art developed in 18th century.
Emma use to work as a model for romantic painter George Romney and in Attitudes she combines Romney's practice of quoting classical poses of female heroines from Greco-Roman mythology with modern allure as the basis for her act.
With Attitudes first performed in Naples Emma gained a huge success in Europe.
From Medea to Queen Cleopatra she charmed aristocrats, artists such as Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun, writers – including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – and kings and queens alike, setting off new dance trends across Europe and starting a fashion for a draped Grecian style of dress.
Emma had by then become not only a close personal friend of Queen Maria Carolina, but had developed into an important political influence. She advised the Queen on how to react to the threats from the French Revolution. As Maria Carolina's sister Marie Antoinette had fallen a victim to the Revolution….
In ballet, an attitude refers to a specific pose. According to Carlo Blasis - italian dancer, choreographer and dance theoretician from 18th century, attitudes were inspired by Giovanni da Bologna’s statue of the Roman god Mercury. In the statue, Mercury as the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence and thus poetry, luck, trickery and thieves and also as the guide of souls to the underworld has one leg in the air behind him bent at a 90-degree angle.
It's quite remarkable feminist emancipatory approach how thanks to her art Emma Lady Hamilton made it from hostess and model to influential political persona and Queen’s friend.