Special project # 11, The Legacy of Allan Kaprow by Pasquale Polidori

The end. A performance at the Terni Festival.

by Arshake |     5 October 2017

The International Festival of Contemporary Creation, which has just come to a close, has proved fertile ground for the growth of temporary installations, spaces for co-creation and engagement, theatrical and musical performances and educational laboratories that have enabled to redesign «relations of proximity, the meaning of the common good, of ‘us’ and living together in a space that becomes public and of the public» (Di Pietro, Organtini). The festival slogan, ‘come close’, is an invitation to come into contact with art, viewed as an indispensable vaccine to awake a human conscience grown used to distractions and provide immunisation to ‘looking without seeing’, already emphasised by Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth century. This call has not only been embraced with confidence by the Terni residents, but also by the international audience who have attended the various presentations, showing a willingness to mend the traumatic split between contemporary art and society.

This is the experience of those taking part in the participatory performance The end – Terni, the outcome of a collaboration between the Strasse collective from Milan and the Dutch director Lotte van den Berg and developed from a re-reading of cinema, explored because it is a form of spectacle and popular art. The performance, articulated in three moments are marked by predefined times, pushes the audience to reflect about the idea of an end and the related concept of transformation. It then transcends these, opening up a multitude of questions inevitably linked to man, who is understood in his inner dimension, in his ability to open up to others and his relation to the surrounding environment and new technologies. Twenty audience members are taken and left in three everyday scenes where, motionless and still in their planned positions, they watch three different endings.

A sound signal establishes the end of The end: participants turn around, wait a few seconds and then disperse. What remains is an experience of individual vision and plural sharing, which speaks a cinematic language, rejecting however all mediations and technical instruments. A reduction that stimulates the minds of the participants and all those who take part by chance, and from which a participatory relationship among art, the region and society emerges.


images: (cover 1) Museum of the moon – night (2) Museum of the moon – day (3) The End, posizioni.

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