Gallery 7/12: Venetian Festival, Anessy, France.

Photo by the author.

Imagine a decadent ballroom, with crystal chandeliers, lace and velvet curtains, and classical paintings in shining gold frames. Imagine a chamber orchestra on the stage, performing for a hundred dancers, all in elegant silk suits and dresses, and classic Venetian carnival masks. Some faces show calm serenity, some ecstatic seriousness, some have a romantic tear painted on a cheek, and some wear a sly grin. Everyone greets each other with a bow, everyone dances with precision and grace, everyone touches and gazes on each other with ritualistic respect. But at midnight, a bell tolls. The music stops. The masks come off. We see that the musicians were all skeletons, and the dancers were all werewolves. They immediately tear at each other’s throats with their teeth.

The conclusion about human nature we are to draw from the ballroom scene is that civilization is an illusion.

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