Anything that makes me write …
Festival FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts. 2021.
Il Terzo Reich, con la collaborazione di Scott Gibson per il suono e di Gloria Dorliguzzo per la coreografia.
Present tense. I walk out of the theatre.
Before the beginning of the show a voice warned everyone that there are also rules on the order in which people should evacuate the space. I should be in the first group to move, if I got it right. Alone, I take it easy.
I need to enjoy the silence, the end of it.
A thought during the show was: “Is he (the director, the company, the theatre, who?) trying to tell me that it is actually – essentially – going to be like this for ever? ’till my death and beyond?”
I am so glad I don’t have to say anything to anyone…and that nobody tells me anything about it. I hear next to me some voice with some immediate comments that I have now completely forgotten. Slowly, I follow the small well masked crowd.
The way out the theatre is through a kind of open air local with beautifully illuminated people talking and drinking or eating. They also gather in front of screens, two for football and one with a movie or documentary.
It finally becomes more quiet, with lots of fresh air. Luckily we are in a park: I observe my walk, while walking to the car.
I perceive my walk.
Someone is looking at me for more than one second, or maybe more… I think that the fact that he is looking is normal, I am just there, in his cone of vision as he is in mine. Casually. It does not change my mood.
Yes, I was feeling in a kind of nice unprogrammed way… It is hard to explain… I see it now though. It all came along with the air, June, the night, the chair I left … For a brief while, I remember, I felt I was walking in a more defined, connected way: fluid and with a velocity and a weight, not at all fast nor slow, not at all heavy or light, just kind of precisely chosen, measured and felt at the same time, gauged by instinct, aligned to something, to the length of my bones and my thoughts, to the descending floor and the surroundings.
Once in the car, on the way home, I surprise my friend with a phone call. Normally at this time I’m asleep or I don’t make calls … I know she is awake. We talk and laugh. We get straight into the good mood together lately. It’s so good! She is literally 20 meters away from me for a few seconds, but I don’t stop by her house. We are both completely wrecked … We know we could cry with each other, but we laugh!
Words that make you laugh! Or smile. I love those… It is so good to build a language…and you actually build one with each one of your interlocutors …in a way.
The show, as announced, is a sequence of many many many minutes of acoustic noise, not so dis-armonic in the end (it is actually a masterpiece in itself, see info below), mate with semiotic noise? how do we want to call it?: a sequence of single words in capital letters, white on black, just written there, on the screen, in the space where we expect to see dancers, actors and scenes.
… From the word (WHAT or) THING, ( in Italian COSA means both what and thing) to the word HORIZON and in between: 12.000 words, says the web. Surely, I would be curious to know how the choice was made…
In my interpretation for now, the point is that the sequence has absolutely no order, no meaning, no literal intentions … ( if such an absolute exists!).
I may soon find out that I’m wrong, however… I know from experience, from a game we used to play with my father, that it is improbable to not make any kind of meaning, or schema, perhaps funny, in a sequence of words (try it!):
The sequence of words in The Third Reich does, indeed, make no sense at all. I am curious! I guess it was a job to contain this intention. Maybe, as in some psychological test, it’s the words you focus on that matter to each person… and that’s the message. Everyone finds their own. But this is just an assumption I’m making, a bit of a word game that it is not quite in theme here. I mean … I’m not sure at all…There is sure more than this. Or not even this, perhaps.
I am probably just curious myself: I have noted – in the dark – these few words: the three at the beginning: THING (but I had read WHAT –BONE – SMOKE and the last ones (I missed the one before the last): CONCESSION, ABYSS, another word and at then HORIZON, as final.
From which, in my absolutely wrong arbitrary and casual game, while still sitting in the chair at end of the show, I created this question: What … horizon? Answer: No horizon?
I also started noting: WHORE REVOLUTION ECONOMY MARRIAGE ANARCHY WRESTLING …then I stopped. I only did write, much later, CATALYSIS, because I like this word. (The imaginific behind my use of it). I had no idea I was going through all the nouns of Italian vocabulary … (Is there an “all words” complete list? I don’t believe it is possible or, at least, it is just debatable … who cares anyway).
Just a list of nouns, not verbs: right now I am in the middle of realms: grammar, translation, communication, art. Philosophy…language, theatre…society? Is this show just … Noise Noise Noise (instead of Noise Information Noise, which is a kind of adagio reminder for what communication is for Michel Serres).
Of course not. It is a piece of radical modern theatre with a tremendous score and, on the visual field, a beautiful dance short solo piece that precedes a long tempest of void words and thunders given at different unpredictable velocity and force, or violence. Almost unbearable. A year 2020 production.
If someone just told me about the show, let’s say in a few minutes, with a very good description of it, would I not understand the message anyway? (That we are deeply unawarely oppressed more than ever, since language rules but means nothing anymore, since meaning is dominated by rules and designs, all-round projects that we are less and less able to perceive, for example). How differently would I get this?
The day I went to the show I had done some readings and copy and paste from the web on a new document, where I’m writing now and on a page of my notebook. Here I copy two handwritten quotes, short and relevant:
Kempler Victor : The perversion of language leads to the perversion of thought and the decay of society. I have crossed society and wrote instead: the individual. I have learned to stop / question mark in front of the word society: I really do not know if this is something that exists…something we really know what we are talking about. Individuals or collectivities, are more valid terms somehow, for me.
Romeo Castellucci : “The theater is a battlefield, you need violence to imagine the world to come”.
The word violence is already violent to me. I know I have to deal with it, I know I am inevitably violent … abhorring violence is violent … there is no way out, we are constantly exposed to violence of different kinds. To kindness, too. If only we could focus a little more on kindness…right? Too simple, I know! …but still, I mean it and, if I write it down …I’ll write it down.
Before the show, along with the web press, thanks to which I started my little search, I also read a dissertation sheet on the working methodology of Romeo Castellucci…very interesting: it was written 15 years ago. The author quotes from “Romeo Castellucci, Program notes for Genesi: from the museum of sleep, and then comments:
“The noise of the room where you are sitting is already the beginning of everything”, “we are made self aware through a representation of ourselves”, writes the scholar.
What I find helpful in reading in this dissertation, both before and after viewing the piece, is this explanation of the creative process, even if it refers to 15 years ago: “As the image, the moment, or the scene is being worked, one of the consistent ways in which Romeo [and Chiara] search for meaning and rhythm is by off-setting the current idea with something which will trivialize it [if the idea is profound], or make it feel sacred [if the idea is profane]. In other words, they will seek to ‘level-out’ the associations, the domains, the categorizations and generally the culture of singular and specific ideas by applying them to their antithesis, for an object’s sacredness is put into question when it’s opposite’s profaneness is made to be seen as sacred. This process is always a type of perversion of the image, the object or the idea for applying a profound context to a trivial object can also be a perversion. Most importantly though, the world which is created through this perversion is a new territory where everything is flattened out, there is no more hierarchy between the sacred and the profane; the human and the animal; the present and the absent. It is precisely this ‘flattening out’ effect that guides Romeo’s process on both literal and subliminal levels”. I love it.
What will I retain from having gone to the theatre?
What in the form of an attitude?
Beauty wise: I will retain some images and feelings from the short piece of solo dance. I would have that dance repeated 2.000 times, maybe from different angles and distances, and with that score again, instead of any flashing word; now I know!
And … to extract some optimism in the “necessarily pessimistic” anthropological vision of the artist: I will retain, hopefully, the impulse to walk – talk in a more defined, connected, gauged and yet spontaneous way than ever, ’till my death.
I am definitely not interested in the violence of the void.
Romeo Castellucci comments: “As a citizen I strive to be positive and to think that art, thought, literature, certain spirituality can liberate the day of each of us. Redemption can come from the search for happiness in a personal dimension”. I agree! What is “happiness”? How is happiness? Do I know? What is “personal dimension”?
Choosing. Is this an answer? Choose weight and rhythm. Choose how.
Your words, choose them whenever you can. Choose them in a more defined connected way, fluid and with a velocity and a weight, not at all fast nor slow, not at all heavy or light, just kind of chosen, measured and felt at the same time, gauged by instinct, aligned to something.Touch them touch the silence. Choose your words to say and to read or listen. Be in love. Choose and feel their weight and sound, choose the way you let them go, out in the world… Just start, resolutely and in kindness!
Qualcosa è cambiato, non in
quello che fai, ma nel modo in cui lo lasci andare nel
mondo. Giorgio Agamben. Quando la casa brucia. 2020.
Lorenza Orlando. June 11/14th, 2021. Milan
Scott Gibbons has been composing music for more than 30 years, with a two-fold exploration into the possibilities of natural acoustic sound on the one hand, and those of audio technology on the other. Although he is a seminal and influential composer of Dark Ambient and micromusic, his work is not so easily pigeonholed. His compositions demonstrate an acute balance between delicacy and physicality, often focusing around frequencies that are at the outermost limits of human hearing, and embracing quietness as a central element. A series of early releases on the Sub Rosa label – based only on singular natural sound sources such as stones and air – has received praise from all over the world and provided inspiration for many “single-source” artists in their wake. He has created many unique electronic instruments for use on stage and has earned a strong reputation for his live performances. In fact his first live album – 1999’s Field Notes – was one of All-Music Guide’s “Best Albums of the Year” across all music genres. Gibbons has also created many works for large-scale spectacle with Groupe F to accompany fireworks which utilize the sound of pyrotechnics as an intregal part of the musical arrangement.