Book launching with paintings and exhibition of works by Claudia Castellucci
Curated by Silvia Fanti
18 March - 4 April 2015
From March 18 until April 4 2015, the Marino Marini Museum will host the exhibition Setta. Quadri di comportamento a thematic personal exhibition by Claudia Castellucci, artist, dramaturg, choreographer, theorist and educator, co-founder of the theatrical company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio; the exhibition is curated by Silvia Fanti. A practice environment created by Claudia Castellucci for a museum crypt, synchronised with the launching of the book Setta. Scuola di Tecnica Drammatica (Quodlibet 2015) will be presented by the author as an exhibition inauguration on Wednesday March 18 at 7 pm with an oratorio performance.
Claudia Castellucci has composed theatrical and theoretical texts as well as acting in many theatrical performances by the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, crossing and expanding different performance methods, and has created a range of theatrical and rhythm schools combining gymnastics with philosophical practice. Claudia Castellucci is the leading figure in a personal path of research that, after thirty years’ experience, has given rise to the composition: Setta. Scuola di tecnica drammatica, a book/instruction manual that presents 59 days of exercises and suggestions useful to reformulate daily activities. For this occasion, for the first time in an extensive manner, the Florentine Marini museum will host works created between 1985 to the present day along a route that revolves around the Performance, through sculpture, stage action, and language.
The book Setta. Scuola di tecnica drammatica has a transparent and openly stated purpose (schools) and a structure very closely connected to this purpose (the exercises and daily activities). The schools (under her direction between 1989 and 2011, as well as potential future schools) are, in reality, a dimension of awareness/knowledge, and do not represent a pivot in the transmission of this learning. On the contrary, with an 'anathema' the author challenges anybody practising these exercises to contextualise them according to some canonical method. As Claudia Castellucci writes: "the suggestions contained in this book are not designed to be meditated, but to be practised. This practice is aimed at establishing a method of being together: the school. The book founds a school anywhere that at least three people decide to apply the practice. Theatrical technique is the environment used by this school to become competitively aware of reality, and therefore it is only a means and not the aim of this school. The ambition of the book is to be used as a tool useful for developing a school. The revolutionary nature of scholastic relationships that bloomed in ancient Mediterranean countries focusses on the method for acquiring knowledge together with an importance that prevails over the actual knowledge of the disciplines. This method is performed by doing the exercises. We choose a relationship that can be used to facilitate our own knowledge; we do not simply follow another person. This book attempts to facilitate these relationships. It will become clear that even the location is not an essential factor”.
The exhibition Setta. Quadri di comportamento is the implementation of the book. The works suggest what to do: they represent a handbook for behaviour. As Castellucci herself states in her Appunti per l’arte didascalica: "I decided to explain the contents of my book through a sequence of teaching pictures. I choose the explanation, not the theory, as I do in the book. I invite readers to criticise the theory. There are practical thoughts: exercises that are used to establish a real school, just as the decisions that are taken according to contact are also real. The works I create are all explanatory, in one way or another. I do not want to express a theory, but to invite people to put a method into practice. In any case, the method or practice is a domain of a metaphysical order that pushes away utilitarianism and the utilitarian: it accepts only the useful. This art, the art that accepts this order, is an art that is of use”.
Arranged in exhibition form as “behaviour pictures” the first works that are visible in the crypt are two devices entitled Ordigni. "The word ordigno is strong and beautiful. It contains a sense of order, but compresses it in a menacing manner. In reality the word comes from an innocuous origin meaning ornament or decoration”. These ordigni devices are activating; they suggest performing a gesture until it is bent into a choreographic movement. They allow new rituals in personal and communal solitude.
The Ordigno istoriale is a foldable instruction handbook, a portable sculpture that contains 6 drawings in Indian ink encapsulated in velvet pages in book form. It contains positions to copy. It can be opened and used for the time each person considers suitable. One should move from one position to another, transforming gestures in fluid motion, maintaining a constant speed.
In the same way, the Colonna istoriale, a carved heptagonal totem in wood and velvet set in a circular space, with 14 inset drawings, suggests the practice of movement and pose in a kind of cycle of gestures. Seven people stand around the totem and copy the gestures shown in the drawings on the base and capital of the column.
I Passanti are two wooden plutei that contain 40 pictures of Ritagli di giornale. (newspaper clippings). After clipping out news photos and advertising from glossy magazines, Claudia Castellucci added texts to these still pictures extracted from the river of reality and then framed them. “These newspaper clippings have a double meaning: they are the performance that includes the wings, the surrounding building, the city, the government. They are pictures that have a mission: they must communicate the end”.
At this point, La Generalissima appears. It is a large disk of painted wood suspended horizontally, bearing words written in the Generalissima (Most General) language, set in four concentric rings. The Generalissima is an artificial language coined by Claudia Castellucci in 1985 for the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio based on 400 all-inclusive terms. An artificial language based on Creole and the Ars Magna conceived by Raimondo Lullo. La Generalissima continues in increasingly accentuated levels of abstraction – from the most common terms to the purest level composed of only four words –with which it is possible to communicate. “Four words: with these four words, we can say everything. We can truly understand everything”. It is possible to physically walk around the wooden Generalissima sculpture and read the circular and centripetal text.
Moving on from the shaping of verbal language, the exhibition displays Le Lettere Generose, eight cardboard sheets painted with tar, a work dating from 2014 born from the eight-letter palindrome of the Latin alphabet. They can be read from left to right, or from right to left, from the front or the back. "Therefore, they are particularly generous letters, and given their semantic nature, they are also full of meaning: able to attract all the others”.
On the back wall are the seven didactic pictures of the Setta series, created at the same time as the drawing up of the handbook. Canvases and cardboard sheets painted with tar to illustrate the book will form the material backdrop to the inaugural presentation, making the connection between each concept even more evident through the leather strips that link them together.
To the side, like witnesses keeping watch over the exhibition, are the silently grinning Gemelli Stúpor, two works from 1989, which form a paradoxical matching pair, giving a preview of the sarcastic tone that Claudia Castellucci developed many years later with her Ritagli di giornale.
Claudia Castellucci was born in Cesena in 1958. She studied at the art school of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. In 1981, she was one of the founders of the theatre company, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, for which she wrote theatrical and theoretical texts, and with which she performed in the most important capitals around the world. At the same time, she created schools of rhythm, some dedicated to dance and others to the study of representation Since 2009, she has divided her work into two branches: on one side, she has carried out deeper research into dance as a rhythm discipline practised by expert dancers. The other activity continues with her idea of schooling as a work composed of relationships. She continues to perform sporadically, reciting her own works such as recent performances: Il Dialogo degli Schiavi and Il Regno Profondo. She has published two books: Uovo di bocca. Scritti lirici e drammatici, Bollati Boringhieri, 2000 and Setta. Scuola di tecnica drammatica, Quodlibet, 2015.
20 February - 9 May, 2015
The exhibition is dedicated to the most recent phase in the history of artists’ books. These are works of art that borrow the format and the particular modes of distribution and consumption of the book; they are not books replicating works of art, but works of art that exist exclusively through the format of the book.
All the books selected are either self-published or participate in a minor economy of small independent publishers. Their modes of production and circulation, as well as the conditions under which they are housed and experienced, create and reinforce their content.
Following those Following those at Corvi-Mora Gallery in London and at Arists Space in New York, this is the third exhibition curated by Gregorio Magnani’s ongoing archive of recent artist’s books. In Florence the books selection underscores the various ways in which books occupy, condense, infiltrate, activate, explode, or are inhabited by space.
Books-as-sculptures, books that occupy other books’ space, or are invaded by the space surrounding them, guide us in this exploration of the most recent development of the book as a medium of artistic expression.
Books by: Anonimo, Kasper Andreasen, Diana Artus, blisterZine, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Mariana Castillo Deball, Michael Dean, Arnaud Desjardin, Johanna Drucker, Melissa Dubbin & Aaron S. Davidson, Karl Holmqvist, Takashi Homma, Brian Kennon, Louis Lüthi, Sara MacKillop, Kristen Mueller, Sophie Nys, Asher Penn, Chiara Pergola, Simon Popper, Lucy Powell, Alessandro Roma, Karin Ruggaber, Christoph Schifferli, Izet Sheshivari, Rachel Simkover, Erik Steinbrecher, Mladen Stropnik, Derek Sullivan, Nik Thoenen & Lorenzo le kou Meyr, Peter Tillessen, Erik van der Weijde, Jean-Michel Wicker
ph Dario Lasagni
curated by Alberto Salvadori
20 February - 9 May 2015
The What Education for Mars? cycle by Italian artist Valerio Rocco Orlando is an attempt to experiment with an alternative model of knowledge transmission and relationship in international art schools. As Bruno Latour, in his book “Laboratory Life” (1979), analyzes scientific discoveries through the study of the relationships between the scientists and their families, What Education for Mars? questions the contemporary school-system through the relations among students and between students and teachers. Paraphrasing “Power is not a thing but a relationship” by Michel Foucault, we can intend education not as a sum of contents but as the interaction between two or more subjects with different roles. So, defining the outspread of knowledge within the school as a dialogue among different individuals, what alternative model can we propose?
In 2011 Valerio Rocco Orlando conducted a first series of workshops in a number of high school classes in Rome producing a video installation composed of portraits, interviews and conversations amongst students imagining how to build a better school. In 2012 this work was exhibited at the XI Havana Biennial and a second production was developed at ISA, The University of Arts of Cuba. In 2013 the third installment from this cycle was produced at The Valley School in Bangalore, India in collaboration with the Krishnamurti Foundation.
In 2015, the whole cycle will be presented as a three-channel installation at the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, in a solo show curated by the museum director Alberto Salvadori. In addition, within the exhibition space and for the entire duration of the show, Valerio Rocco Orlando, together with the Education Department, will activate a workshop open to the students of the schools of Florence, a process of collective participation aimed at creating a new artist's book.
What Education for Mars? was realized with the support of ALA, Nomas Foundation, Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali, Rome; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Bienal de la Habana, Havana; Krishnamurti Foundation, Bangalore.
ph Antonio Angelucci