From "Once There Was a House…Echoes from the Villa of Mysteries,'' a site-specific installation by Laurie Kaplowitz and Katha Seidman at the South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, Mass., Sept. 16-Nov. 6.
The artists write: "'Once There Was A House' is based on the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii, a house where time has stopped, millennia have passed, and as if through a wormhole, we look on recognizing much, wondering at more.''
There are many lost-world villas in Cohasset, too. It's a old colonial town/fishing village that morphed into, in part, a summer place for rich Bostonians and shoe moguls from Brockton until finally becoming mostly an affluent Boston suburb, with sky-high real-estate prices.
During the heyday of its summer-place epoch -- from about 1900to 1930 -- some summer people had the fad of putting up Italianate stucco mansions (with fountains, etc.) on bluffs along its rocky coast and behind itsuncomfortably pebbly beaches. Some of them looked like knockoffs from Pompeii.