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A conversation between Andrea Croce and Heartbreaker

A conversation between Andrea Croce and Heartbreaker is a text published in occasion of  the exhibition How to wash your tail and get rid of stains by Alice Pilusi e Niccolò Pagni.

AC: Hi dear, I’m really glad to see you again. How have you experienced this period? Have you felt lonely?

HB: Not at all. Summer has just passed, and every day I saw boats, tourists, humans floating above me. I enjoyed watching them from a distance and occasionally surfacing, often at sunset. While relaxing on the rocks, I let the sun dry my hair. Unfortunately, the heat damaged them, and I had to trim the split ends and dried strands. But that didn’t stop me from fully enjoying my favorite season.

AC: Great! I’m happy for you. It seems you’ve been serene and, from what I understand, quite free from commitments. By the way, have you found someone to seduce?

HB: Yes! Since the last time we talked, I spotted a new one with marvelous feet! You can imagine that I, having a tail, have a weakness for feet – especially male ones – splashing vigorously in the water. I think he had at least a size 44!

AC: Interesting. But let’s talk about hair now. How do you take care of them? Do you use any particular products? Mine have been a bit damaged lately. You’ve been flaunting a very long cut for a while, perfect for you, in my opinion. Don’t tell me you plan to change it?! Do you think they would criticize such a bold choice in the underwater kingdom?

HB: I was thinking about it a few days ago. Despite recently trimming them, they are still very long. The real drama is the seaweed that gets tangled in my hair, making it impossible to untangle. It would be nice to try a different look, maybe even shave it, inspired by one of my favorite singers: Sinéad O’Connor. A revolutionary! I would like, I must admit, to feel a lighter head, free from thoughts perhaps. In the water, everything floats, but it is much heavier than on the surface. Lightness is something I seek elsewhere, in imagination.

AC: Sinéad! I appreciate her too, and to a mermaid like you, I can only say: Nothing compares 2 U! A masterpiece that moves me. Let me satisfy my curiosity: Do you cry as much in summer as in winter?

HB: In the sea, I do cry from time to time, I must admit, but I never feel the tears fall, so it’s as if it doesn’t really happen. Summer is overwhelming; things evolve quickly, and there are many fleeting loves. Everything seems to escape my control, and I love being carried away by events. I don’t even feel the need to process them! In winter, on the contrary, nostalgia hits me. In the sea, there is no one but middle-aged fishermen, while on the beach, teenage couples walk in the cold, kissing as if it were their first time. I prefer staying on the seabed, closed in on myself, mulling over the past.

The change of season not only brings about a radical change in mood – I want to share this little secret with you – even my tail undergoes variations. Its color changes with the drop in temperature and the movement of light filtered through the water; it’s a spectacular transformation, but one many friends prefer not to talk about. When the winter sun is warm and often covered, the tail takes on a metallic sheen with grayish tones. Most mermaids prefer a permanent treatment to keep the pigmentation vivid. I’m not so obsessed with it; muted colors can have a fatal charm. I believe a lot in their seductive potential, and besides, I don’t like conforming.

AC: I agree with you. Tell me more: what does this treatment consist of? You know how obsessed I am with skincare routines!

HB: It’s a kind of purifying ritual that reverses the natural process of scale oxidation, restoring its characteristic holographic glow. Essentially, it stabilizes the colors permanently. It has a few irreversible side effects, one of which involves the erasure of what we call “Previous Memory” – our mundane human past. You just have to immerse yourself in a Source and relax, waiting for the liquid to do the rest. A bit like at the spa, actually, but much spicier.

AC: But aren’t you perhaps afraid of forgetting your past?

HB: Pain has shaped me, and I don’t know if I could go all the way. I wouldn’t be who I am now! I think that’s what scares me: the idea of changing in that way. I’ve moved on, but it’s still important for me to maintain an open dialogue with the old me. Remembering makes me nostalgic, a quality that also – as you know – has an irresistible appeal to young prey. I would really like to find the courage to do it; it would make me invincible.

AC: It’s a radical step; you’ll do it when you really feel ready. It will be like a baptism and will mark a new beginning for you, a moment I would like to witness. In the meantime, I’ll continue to admire you for the supernatural creature you are.

AC: But who broke your heart?


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