Si è conclusa da pochi giorni la ventottesima edizione del Festival del Teatro Patologico diretto da Dario D’Ambrosi e dedicato alla memoria di Ellen Stewart, La Mama di New York. Molti gli spettacoli presentati tra cui Railroadscritto e diretto dall’americano Bryan Reynolds, fondatore della compagnia internazionale Transversal Theater Company. Un cast europeo con attori greci come Xronis Sapountzakis e Sophia Dermitzaki , belgi come Bruno Mathelart e suo figlio Romain, svedesi come Fredrik Schirén, olandesi come l´attrice e cantante Anouk briefjes e italiani come Francesca Tasini e Antonio Russo alle prese con un dramma forte e intenso sul tema dell’Olocausto.
La storia di due famiglie, una ebrea e una nazista e dei loro posteri americani. Il dramma è originariamente concepito per far interpretare agli stessi quattro attori tutti i ruoli come per Giovanni Morassutti, che ha avuto modo d’interpretare sia il padre della famiglia tedesca nella produzione in Svezia del 2014, sia quello del padre della famiglia ebrea in Belgio nel 2019, cimentandosi con “le due facce della medaglia” e dando prova della sua versatilità attoriale. “Sono molto contento di questo riconoscimento” afferma Morassutti. “Non solo per il fatto che sia un omaggio a Ellen con cui ho avuto l’onore di lavorare durante gli anni trascorsi a New York e che tengo sempre nel cuore, ma perche’ ritengo che uno spettacolo con attori internazionali rappresenti una sfida e un’opportunità di mettere in gioco un’idea culturale prestabilita di teatro e recitazione. In fondo questo l’ho imparato proprio a La MaMa“. Morassutti e un attore diplomato al Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma, da alcuni anni di base a Berlino, che si divide tra cinema e teatro oltre a dedicarsi all’arte contemporanea come artista e imprenditore culturale.
Italian actor, artist and cultural entrepreneur Giovanni Morassuttiand Bangladeshi curator and researcher Sadya Mizan have been collaborating in 2019 in the International project Uronto – an Artist-Led Open Collectivein Bangladesh with a residential exchange program. In the following interview, they share its outcomes for international arts management, curatorship, cooperation, and similarities and differences between art practices in the Western and the non-Western world.
Sadya: What is your understanding of the intersection of curation and arts management in the European context?
Giovanni: I have the feeling that curatorship in Europe is becoming more and more an academic field confined to institutional settings. The problem is that the process tends to be very analytical, requiring to apply the knowledge of contemporary art theories, mainly connected to criticism of visual art forms. This can lack a more intuitive interpretation of artworks, which in my opinion would allow a better understanding of the artistic process. I also believe that it is important to integrate the knowledge of different disciplines in the development of creative communication between art and society, as well as it is fundamental to learn how to communicate with the audience. In terms of arts management, I see, especially in Berlin, many people and art collectives inventing and testing new formats. Many project spaces, including my pop-up gallery Art Aia – La Dolce Berlin, are interested in opening up intellectual borders between different cultures by independently managed residency programs and cultural exchanges. The intersection happens when there is an interest in interpreting art production in a wider context.
Sadya: I completely understand the consequences of the academic process focusing too much into art history and feeding art critics while ignoring the need for interactive communication. In Bangladesh, on the other hand, there is only a very poor presence of curatorial practice, no curators in art infrastructures, no curatorial studies in any art institute – matter of fact, we have such few numbers of such institutes at all and all of them with a classical colonized curriculum. Some of the artists with strong passion and dedication are coming in front line action as independent curators or arts managers, mostly learning by doing. I look at this also positively as a kind of freedom but in the long run we do need institutional training, not necessarily in art history but in other related segments. Especially nowadays the freedom of self-taught curatorial positions in Bangladesh is being corrupted by few practitioners to survive in the shrinking pot of opportunities ultimately contaminating the importance of a curator and arts manager.
Art Aia is very pleased to collaborate with non-profit organization TransCultural Exchangein Hello World, an international project which represents a powerful gesture of global solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TransCultural Exchange (TCE) is a non-profit organization whose stated mission is “to foster a greater understanding of world cultures through large-scale global projects, artist exchanges and, most notably, a biennale International Conference on Opportunities in the Arts.” TransCultural Exchange was founded by Mary Sherman in 1989.
“Below is a link to Hello World, an international project, where artists throughout the world have submitted art works to share with all of us. We hope you enjoy this gesture of goodwill and solidarity from our colleagues around the globe.
Ms. Kehrberger. What is your perspective on the current situation?
I would rather not talk about this situation since I don´t know what is going on. What I mean is that I don´t trust the mainstream media that much, therefore it is hard for me to have a clear perspective as for many other people. In media everything can be twisted, also numbers, and too many things do not make any logical sense, the only thing I see is that people are scared and a scared population is so easy to manipulate. I see social distancing in families, friends, neighbors and how easy it is that fascism built itself from inside through fear and mistrust. When it comes to health, I think it could help people to get some ideas about how a human being can improve his or her immune system and I am missing this topic in the mass media. For me, life is a well-sensed risk and taking care of myself to be able to live life as fully as I can. I do trust my body, I think that the human body is an incredible machine and I believe that it is an incredible self-healing system if we put the body in a condition where it can heal itself. It is a combination of thoughts, movements, nutrition, breathing exercises like the one discovered by Wim Hof. I go swimming in the very cold water on a lake every day during winter time but I would recommend even just a cold shower to increase your immune system.
How do you translate self-care into acting?
For me, an actor is an artist. There is a big difference between an artisan and an artist. An actor can be both but I want to look at an actor as an artist who masters his craft and goes beyond. He has to take responsibility and care for his art.
As a physical artist you are used to work with your body. What do you recommend as good practices ?
Yes, you are right. My work as a performer and also as a teacher starts from the body. I am interested in Neuroscience and how we can help our bodies through our minds. I did lots of research about this process and I have discovered that Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress and boost your immune system. I have noticed that when I ask my students when stretching their muscles to smile even if physically in pain that helps them to go further in the stretch. It is as if the brain is telling the body that it is pleasurable and not painful therefore the body relaxes more. As an acrobat and aerial artist myself I have also noticed that if I can visualize the jump or the movement removing negative thoughts, I have much a better chance to do it as I want it.
Many teachers have written books about their methods . Do you also write?
I am writing my first book at the moment which will be containing some of the techniques that I use in the training. It will be some sort of a handbook focused on the topics that I teach like how to magnetize the audience, creating an emotional connection with them but its core will be how to maintain the joy of playing as an adult. Friedrich Schiller said: “People are only completely human when they play.” For me the joy of playing is the engine of fast learning for people and animals, both for children and adults. Things which are learned while playing games are deeply anchored in our physical memory and children and adults are better able to develop their potential through if playing. In the game state, many brain cells can re-network, which leads to the brain running at full speed in the game state: the imagination sprays, the creativity is stimulated, the flow state and the resulting tense joy spreads in our body, the controlling mind is on standby. Therefore in my work I focus on the play, the game and its immense pleasure, which is a feeling that originated in the early childhood.
Do you like teaching and do you have a permanent school in Berlin?
Yes, I love teaching, I love seeing people improve and assisting their personal breakthrough. Ah, what a joy !!! I teach stage professionals from all fields, such as actors, singers, dancers, musicians. I remember this woman, shy, small, fragile, a lyrical singer. She was at the beginning of her career. Within 4 weeks of working she changed completely, she became a “monster” on stage in the good sense of the word meaning that she was huge on stage full of courage and shining like a sparkling star, her personal voice coach noticed a change in her voice and for the better and she is now very well settled in the business. I had people saying to me that after attending my masterclasses they were able to get many more opportunities feeling more at ease when auditioning. In terms of my school ,NK On Stage, I would say that since I teach a lot abroad I am not always able to offer classes at the Barfuss Theater which I have founded and built-in Berlin together with my partner Michele Andrei but I want to increase the workshops in Berlin, giving stage professionals or those who want to become one, the possibility to study with me in 3-4 blocks of 4 weeks. The program will be a sequence of workshops building up on each other, but students can choose also single workshops out of the program.
Can you tell us what are your next projects ?
At the moment all my projects are kind of on hold due to this “state of emergency”. Certainly, I want to do my masterclass that was scheduled to happen next week especially because I would be excited to work with the actors that applied. It is a wonderful group of professionals. I guess we have to be patient and wait. When things will go back to normal I will be traveling during the winter to teach in several countries and also in Berlin during the fall. I am also looking forward to publishing my book as well as to collaborate on other projects that I was asked to be part of as a performer and actress.
“People are only completely human when they play.”– Friedrich Schiller
Many Wineries have merged Wine and Art as a marketing strategy and brand positioning. ItalianOrnellaia, one of the most prestigious Tuscan wines, has created that union in 2008 by allowing his wine labels to be a platform for contemporary art or Sicilian Donna Fugata which has also established a dialogue with the exhibition dedicated to “Illustrations by Stefano Vitale, wine and Sicily” in 2018.
There is also a new experimental approach in the art world to literary merge and integrate the wine bottles into the art pieces. Historical Friulian Winery Cantina Principi Di Porcia has started a collaboration with avant-garde project space Art Aia – La Dolce Berlin who recruits some of its artists to integrate the Friulian wine brand into their artworks:“The collaboration with Art Aia has allowed us to explore art in a creative form that finds Wine and artistic works united in winning synaesthesia in which taste and visual sensorial spheres interpenetrate“, says Prince Guecello di Porcia who is also an art lover and supporter of cultural events. Several emerging artists have been joining this challenge so far like American painter Wyatt Mills, Sarah Woelker from Berlin, Irish James Devlin, Annelisa Leinbach, Ucrainia Illustrator Mariana Panchuk and also Giovanni Morassutti with his video art piece “Ribolla” also featured on Arte Laguna World.
“Winemaking is an artistic creation in which you deal with a variety of styles, colors, and inspiration. Therefore good wine, like good art, can evoke emotions, sensations and create an experience which leaves a lasting impression.”– Giovanni Morassutti
In Northern Italian Region Friuli Venezia Giulia theatre organizers are going to issue vouchers for spectators due to shows canceled. These “vouchers” will have to be used within one year from the date of issue and they will offer the possibility to attend the shows scheduled for the next theater season 2020/2021. The CSS, a theatre organization routed in the Region, has send out a press release with detailed information on how to request a voucher.
The Museum of Modern Art will probably be closed for a while therefore they have adjusted to the lock down situation by offering podcast’s tour of the collection or online visits and by its free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Coursera. Its offerings are online classes directly from curators, artists and designers, and exploring the works featured in MoMA‘s collection and exhibitions.
Singer Laren museum in Laren was closed to the public when at around 3:15 a.m on March 30th some thieves smashed a large glass door at the front of the museum to access the building. According to the local authorities perpetrators had vanished by the time Police arrived, stealing Dutch master’s painting. The painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum in Groningen, the Netherlands, and it was painted when Van Gogh was living in Neunen, where his father was a pastor. Police have launched a criminal investigation and are requesting any security footage captured by cameras in the neighborhood and questioning local residents. Anna Singer established The museum in 1954 and it includes works by Dutch artists Chris Beekman, Jan Toorop and Herman Kruyder, among others.
In March 2020 Art Aia has joined the Online Platform EasyClap which is the first social network that brings together the world’s creative ecosystem on an all-in-one platform for artists, art collectives, media houses and art galleries. Art Aia will display on the platform the works of its artists as well as sharing information about the residency programs. Interviews, featured articles and podcasts published by Art Aia on Google News will also be reaching an highly engaged audience thanks to EasyClap press area dedicated to contemporary art.
As Google’s spokesperson said ‘Our goal has always been to use technology to help people find new ways to engage with art and culture’. According to Google Trends this March Online searches for Google Arts & Culture have really increased. Many cultural institutions like The Metropolitan Museum of New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, Korea’s National Museum the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Pinacoteca de São Paulo and many others are already using the platform to share images and videos of their collections , add live content, virtual walk-throughs, podcasts, curated tours and artist takeovers.