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  • Gather and Burn
  • Romeo Castellucci (bio)
    Translated by Joseph Cermatori

A stroll outside on the sidewalk can be a disturbing experience. On the sidewalk I experience and note various passions: the temperatures, certain colors, and above all the world of sounds. I then collect exercises and transcribe everything into my notebooks. With these notebooks, when the time is ripe (and no one knows when it is ripe except for the thing itself, falling like a fruit from the tree), I begin to grasp this absolutely insignificant material, made from pure chaos, from disorganized associations. It is quite painful to re-read all these things because there is something about them that is excessive, morbid, miserable. But then tiny constellations, tiny efflorescences begin to emerge, organized among themselves. It is a deeply impersonal technique; I allow these things to emerge as though in a camera obscura, where the photograph comes out without any shooting having to take place. Ultimately I can identify these structures, and all the rest is to be thrown out, back to the origin, into the trash can. This sort of minimal configuration poses problems to me, because there are bodies, sonorities, temperatures. At this point I begin to search, just like a dog does with its food, for a name that can contain this material. The choice of the name for the title is fundamental. The title that this representation will have should be an inevitable name, brilliant in its perfection: it must resonate with the exactitude of a bronze. Once the title has been identified, I leave and go in search of the text. At this point the initial configuration disappears, but structures now emerge that at the first reading could not come out, along with energies and sources that were beyond the text. I therefore do nothing more than cross this notebook with the new figures revealed by the chosen text. There is an act of communication between these two things that is absolutely artificial, just as the process of grafting in agriculture can be unnatural and violent: a kind of paradoxical essence, a dramaturgy of the deep. It is a fall that I enact, it is a “descent” in the sense that there can be no movement other than that of gravity. This is the macrostructure upon which I generally work, it is a structure that spurs me on. I find all this grotesque. [End Page 22]

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Sketch for the stage design of Hansel and Gretel (1993). © Romeo Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.

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Notes on the mise-en-scène of Parsifal (2011). Courtesy the artist. © Romeo Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.

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Notes and designs for the mise-en-scène of Parsifal (2011). © Romeo Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.

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Notes on the mise-en-scène of Giulio Cesare (1997). © Romeo Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.

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Romeo Castellucci

Romeo Castellucci, co-founder, director, and stage designer for the Italian collective Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (1981–2006), with whom he created a body theatre and performance work, including Gilgamesh, Amleto. La veemente esteriorità della morte di un mollusco, Orestea (Una commedia organica?), Giulio Cesare, Genesi: From the museum of sleep, and the Tragedia Endogonidia cycle. Since 2008, he has continued to produce a number of works, including Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso (based on the Divine Comedy), and Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio. He has also been curator for theatre of the Venice Biennale in 2005 and was named an associate artist at the Avignon Festival in 2008.



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pp. 22-25
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