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Dracula / Chirotteri

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Dracula has been accomplished for the first time in 2008 at Nickelodeon’s exibition at Milano’s 1000events: Bram Stoker’s Dracula is among the novels which have had the biggest number of film adaptations, we can count approximately 650 out of it. In this work I show the video-screening of eight movies based on transylvanian Count’s history (from 1922 Murnau’s Nosferatu to Herzog one, up to Coppola Bram Stoker’s Dracula, touching 1931 Tod Browning Universal’s versions and 1958 Terence Fisher’s Hammer) made on book backs of about 60 different editions of the novel itself. This work, besides emphasizing the unavoidable differences of interpretation both at a direction level and at a novel translation one, takes hold from the copyright’s concept about the transposition of any given literary work towards film: indeed Nosferatu has been the first acknowledged case of plagiarism made by a director against a novel. Even if Murnau changed the title and the names of the characters, he entirely resumed Stoker’s book plot. The writer’s widow sued the director for plagiarism and she won, forcing the director to destroy the movie. Just by chance a couple of copies has been rescued, allowing us to still admire this masterpiece. This case created a judicial precedent and since then the copyright was enlarged to any film transposition of literary works, too.

On the ceiling, Dracula is completed by Chirotteri’s installation, approximately 200 books about bats, cut and fixed with screws side by side. This work clearly takes hold from Enciclopedia dei fiori da giardino and was born in a 2009 October’s night: I was in New York and I was actualizing, with my assistants, the Non ci resta che piangere ship, the installation for the Museum of Art ahd Design. In the night, after having worked for 12/14 hours, I often walked by Strand Books, this huge bookshop beetween 12th street and the Broadway, where every time i used to look for new ideas for new works, and so I ran into this amazing volum exclusively about bats, the kind of stuff I’ve never seen in Italy. Immediately started the idea of covering a whole ceiling with books of that genre. That was the primitive core of The Island of Dr. Mastrovito’s installation at Governors Island in 2010, that besides the bats on the ceiling, it contemplated hundreds of books about butterflies on walls and volums about every animal’s species – life-size represented – on the floor.
This room, exactely located where was one of Testori’s libraries, close the cycle of the three rooms books dedicated, room that Testori himself dedicated to books’ and works’ study.

Posted on: 20 Giugno 2011, by : Associazione Giovanni Testori