Special event - The Feast of Trimalchio

Special event - The Feast of Trimalchio

The best preserved part of Satyricon – the work of Gaius Petronius Arbiter, the great wit and melancholic lyrical poet who lived during Nero’s reign – is “The Feast of Trimalchio (Cena Trimalchionis).” Thanks to Petronius’s imagination, Trimalchio’s name has become synonymous with wealth, luxury, gluttony and unbridled pleasure in contrast to the brevity of human existence.

We searched for an analogue in the third millennium and Trimalchio (the former slave elevated to the nouveau riche, who loved hosting days-long feasts) appeared to us not so much as an individual but as a collective image of a luxurious hotel, a temporary paradise for which one has to pay to enter.

The hotel guests, the “masters,” are from the land of the Golden Billion. They’re keen to spend their time, regardless of the season, as guests of the present-day Trimalchio, who has created the most exotic and luxurious hotel possible. The hotel miraculously combines a tropical coastline with a ski resort. The “masters” wear white, calling to mind the uniforms of the righteous in the Garden of Eden, or traditional colonial dress, or a summer fashion collection. The “masters” possess all the characteristics of the human race - they span all ages, types and social backgrounds. Such as the university professor, broker, society beauty, intellectual. Trimalchio’s “servants” are young, attractive representatives of all continents who work in the vast hospitality industry as housekeeping staff, waiters, chefs, gardeners, security guards and masseurs. They are dressed in traditional uniforms with an ethnic twist. The “servants” resemble the brightly-colored angels of a Garden of Eden to which the “masters” are only temporarily admitted.

On the one hand, the atmosphere of “The Feast of Trimalchio” can be seen as bringing together the hotel rituals of leisure and pleasure (massage and golf, the pool and surfing). On the other hand, the “servants” are more than attentive service providers. They are participants of an orgy, bringing to life all of their “master’s” fantasies, from gastronomic to erotic. At times the “masters” unexpectedly end up in the role of “servants.” Both become participants in an orgiastic gala reception, a dinner in the style of Roman saturnalia when slaves, dressed as patricians, reclined at table and their masters, dressed in slaves’ tunics, served them.

Every so often the delights of “The Feast of Trimalchio” are spoiled by catastrophes that encroach on the Global Paradise...

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