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A collection of podcasts, books, videos and archival documents, providing insight into the theoretical background of the exhibition

Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation

– Brian Massumi, Duke University Press, 2002

Although the body has been the focus of much contemporary cultural theory, the models that are typically applied neglect the most salient characteristics of embodied existence—movement, affect, and sensation—in favor of concepts derived from linguistic theory. In Parables for the Virtual Brian Massumi sees the body and media such as television, film, and the Internet, as cultural formations that operate on multiple registers of sensation beyond the reach of the reading techniques founded on the standard rhetorical and semiotic models.

→ Download the book:

On the Art of the No Drama: The Major Treatises of Zeami

– Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1445), Princeton University Press, 1984

A Foundry of the Figure: Antonin Artaud

– Stephen Barber, in Artforum, September 1987, Vol. 26, No. 1

“Over the last thirty years, the emotional and intellectual impact of the work of Antonin Artaud has been colossal. The ideas of a Theater of Cruelty that he set out in the 30s have permeated the stages of Europe and the Americas. In France, philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva have addressed the polyvocality and the rhythmic, pulsive movement of Artaud’s language, with its break from fixed and seemingly inflexible modes of expression. His vision of a new and delirious dancing body has found its way into Japanese butoh’s violent and erotic manipulations of chance and metamorphosis. His influence and his challenge have been giant. Yet it is now forty years after Artaud’s death, and there is still so much about him to discover, especially from the last and least-known period of his production.”

Read the article

Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu

–  by Antonin Artaud. A radio work  recorded in several sessions in the French Radiodiffusion studios during the month of November 1947, as part of the series “La Voix des Poètes” 

When you will have made him a body without organs,
then you will have delivered him from all his automatic
reactions and restored him to his true freedom.”

This recording introduces the concept of the Body Without Organs, which Deleuze and Guattari will borrow in the Anti-Oedipus and in A Thousand Plateaus. Due to its scatological, anti-American and anti-religious references, accompanied by a cacophony of xylophone sounds and percussive elements, it has immediately been banned from air. The fortune of the work is related to its clandestine circulation, as long as Allen Ginsberg, in Howl‘s writing, will be deeply influenced by it.

→ Listen to the recording

Words On Mime

– Étienne Decroux, Mime Journal, 1983

Meyerhold on Theatre

– trans., ed. & comm. Edward Braun, Methuen, 1969

“The new theater, therefore, will arise from the relationship between nature and the human body, that is, from the fusion between man and the animal part that is in him.”

The most complete collection of writings on biomechanics that comes from the archives of Mejerchol’d, saved by Eizenstein after the execution of the Master, which includes the stenograms of the lectures and speeches, the notes of the students and the notes of the collaborators from 1914 until 1933.

The Body Speaks

– a physical demonstration by Ryszard Cieslak, as part of the CBS series “Camera Three”, 1975

“In the plastiques, Cieslak throws his body into contortion, contraction, jerking, twitching and belly-dance gyrations. It is an opening of the body, and, as he. explains it, a going beyond the body. The individual exercises are described as on a musical scale. Turning toward the “first moments of improvisation” the notes finally begin to make a melody. […]

In the corporals section, Mr. Cieslak. rolls and tosses his body about the hard floor of a studio with astonishing abandon. Using basic yogo position the motivational thrust is transformed from contemplative, to outrageous extroversion. The wild movements are constructed not mechanically, or automatically but with a sense of play toward discovery.” 

(from New York Times, December 13, 1975)

→ Watch the episode

Progetto grafico 31 – Around the body

The 31st issue of Progetto Grafico focuses «around the body» as a necessary center of gravity, which the immaterial space of the digital has by no means dissolved and which, on the contrary, today seems to require a new awareness.

→ Discover the magazine

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15 October 2021
15 January 2022

Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi

Curated by
Video Sound Art

Laura Lamonea
Chief curator

Thomas Ba
Junior curator

Daniela Amandolese

Francesca Mainardi

Lino Palena

Davide Francalanci
Editorial insights