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Stefano Filipponi, stage name Arcadia, is a songwriter and performer artist who lives in Milan. This project was born from an engaging and truthful personal exchange between me and Arcadia/Stefano, which allowed me to discover the person behind the artist and the artist behind the person. Gifted by a kind, unique and authentic soul, he is one of the most talented persons I have ever met. During the last two years, I felt that Stefano, who is introverted, has slowly opened his heart and his mind to me as I did to him in return. He allowed me to understand his world and by opening the doors he invited me to enter: I went down a million stairs and I arrived at "Arcadia". Suddenly, his world also became mine: Arcadia/Stefano welcomed me in a fascinating, wonderful, overwhelming and unexpected pop dimension.
The Arcadia persona was born to facilitate Stefano’s performances on stage. As Stefano narrates, Arcadia was born during a Stendhal attack: he was literally mesmerized by a painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, La Veronica Veronese. Same red hair and same deep melancholy.
Poetry is a major inspiration in Stefano’s artistic performance. The "Arcadia Academy" has historically found its expression and essence in the return to a bucolic way of living, where life is perceived as a peaceful and pastoral dimension where humans could reconnect with themselves. In the same way, Arcadia represents Stefano’s inner place, where he is free to be himself and wear his own mask. By becoming his own super hero, he breaks free from his weaknesses and transforms into the elegant creature who lives in a beautiful world of art, freedom, music and fantasy. ARCADIA is all about celebration of empathy, kindness and above all the braveness of being oneself.

The ARCADIA project makes use of the particular Camp sensitivity. Culturally and historically speaking, Camp is fueled by exaggeration, artifice and transformism by emphasising the irony and the theatricality of its subjects. Surprisingly, Camp has the ability to combine multiple genres, cultures and imaginaries apparently opposed to each other together in a coherent conversation.
This work is composed by a collection of travel memoires from Tokyo, visited by Stefano in 2019. The Japanese news clippings, posters and stickers are all unique pieces, a sparkling background for photographs portraying the Pre-Raphaelite beauties in juxtaposition to the icons of Japanese animēshon pop culture. Through the exploration of these theoretical and aesthetic liaisons, ARCADIA celebrates a culturally intersecting queer Universe.
The final intent is to place Stefano and Arcadia in the heart of this segmented and diversified collage, where they are illustrated as a performing icon free from any identity definition. They are the King, they are the Queen reigning in this kawaii macrocosm, halfway between theatricality, sequins and reality.

Exhibited at
Prix Picto de la Photographie de Mode 2020 by Picto Foundation at Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de Paris
Iper Esterno/Interno - BraeraKlasse#5 at CAREOF Milano during Walk-In Studio

Published on
Rolling Stones Italia - BLACK CAMERA
ARTCONNECT Magazine - Mixed Media: The Constructed Self

moreARCADIA_englishtexts_AntonioMiucci.pdf (42.54 KB)

Installation View IPER ESTERNO/INERNO at CAREOF Milano
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Installation View IPER ESTERNO/INERNO at CAREOF Milano

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