The objects watch the meticulous and methodical ruin of the body as unquestionable witnesses of a story of the world wich belongs, focuses and concentrates on the body but rather than expressing it, destroys it. The body is mindful of a complex theatrical experience wiche essentially echoes Il Rosa e il Nero. But in Hermitage the faces shining with strange coloured beads of sweat, whose skin flakes and given them abstractly animalistic appearance, lose any chance of metaphorization. The direct sight of a face encrusted with the scabs of cancer of the skin, a scourge wich gradually peels away the layers and gives the face the paleness of death and the past, is common to the endless, stratified time of all cultures. The sense of destruction is further conveyed by the complex series of gestures through wich the body’s inability to understand and to act is expressed: the impediments, or empêchements as Deleuze would have it, wich distract and mislead and eventually take the inability elsewhere, albeit to an elsewhere without place or space. The body becomes a pivot as, crouching rather than sitting, it puts its trousers on over a towel making the act of dressing impossible and requiring a new gesture of undressing wich is now, however, an act of stripping and puts up a merely pathetic fight against the idea of the impossible as an action.
The body crosses multiple stratifications of time. The image and the written word have crossed time from paganism to date but not in order to be reconstructed, nor to proclaim despairing dejection or catastrophe. They have crossed time in order to negate and destroy every possible reconstruction of reality as it is known. Thus all the body desires is to sanctify its death by dying, to deny the present of its past. As it says in Hermitage “it is over for those who love me”. —Jean-Paul Manganaro
Carmelo Bene is certainly the last great artist of our 20th century literary world: the publication of his complete works by Bompiani in 1995 – allowing him to proudly call himself “a living classic” – can be considered proof that even the official culture accepts this fact as a clear and and unquestionable truth.
Born at Campi Salentina (Lecce) in 1937, he made his debut in ‘59 with Caligola by Camus, directed by Alberto Ruggiero; however, the following year he offered a work entirely in the first person with Spettacolo Majakovskij, and background music by Bussotti.
In the following decade, the great talent of the actor-director had the chance to fully unfold in legendary shows: his virulent, aggressive and disrespectful – to the point of outrage – rereadings of Pinocchio by Collodi (1961), Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1961), Edward II by Marlowe (1963), Salomè by Oscar Wilde (1964), Manon by Prévost (1964), read more
Travel hijinks imperceptibly segue into Italian experimental film in our first report from the Venice International Film Festival.
Head of the Italian Cinematheque Enrico Magrelli talks about his must-see retrospective program at the Venice, “Orizzonti 1961-1978”.