IO, PIER PAOLO PASOLINI
A project by Casa Testori
Meeting of Rimini
20-25 August 2021
From 20 to 25 August 2021, at the Meeting of Rimini, Casa Testori presented Io, Pier Paolo Pasolini, an exhibition dedicated to one of the Italian intellectuals whose extraordinary personality – director, screenwriter, actor, poet, writer, playwright – marked the 20th century.
Why Pasolini today? Because Pasolini is an open chapter in our history. He is an intellectual whose writing, thinking, filming and debating have always been marked by a deep wound.
You might think it was a personal wound. In reality, if Pasolini is still such a living, burning word, even after almost 50 years, it is because, by destiny, he bore the burden of a collective wound, he was the wounded witness of an anthropological change, of a change that primarily affected his identity and his person. And which has the dramatic mark of a “lack”. Pasolini was able to push through the nostalgia for what was lost, putting into action an intelligence capable of unmasking, without fear of scandal, all the hypocrisies of the new victorious world.
Pasolini’s strength therefore lies in this coincidence between the personal and public levels. This is why his words, even though they stem from his experience as an intellectual without a country, still weigh on collective history.
The exhibition Io, Pier Paolo Pasolini reconnects these two levels, using above all direct contact: it was Pasolini’s face and voice, so sharp and lucidly painful, that told his story, in six large video projections and in a collective and uninterrupted performance of readings of his texts, entrusted to several voices called upon to bring his words “alive”.
An exhibition not to talk about Pasolini, but to hear Pasolini speak.
A Pasolinian performance
The six-act exhibition was opened by the performance Pasolini LIVE, which reached an international audience via the web. From a control booth at the beginning of the exhibition, a continuous Pasolinian live broadcast was transmitted: an uninterrupted reading for over ten hours a day of books and collections by Pasolini (articles, poems, speeches) to which groups of actors, artists and curators gave voice, as well as visitors to the exhibition and volunteers from the Fair, who were asked to read a passage by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
At certain set times of the day, the diffusion of Pasolini’s words was achieved through the integral reading of some books and collections of articles, entrusted to young Italian actors, who took turns in an ideal chain throughout the days, creating physiological appointments for the international audience that was connected.
But that’s not all. The flow of more than 50 hours of performances, for 6 consecutive days, was enriched by special guests. Passionate readers, men and women of culture, poets and journalists, musicians and singers, doctors and scientists of every sensibility and category were involved, who intervened from the exhibition and from all over the world with their own voices, reading a passage by Pier Paolo Pasolini dear to them.
A palimpsest organised for a continuous flow and a global homage never attempted for a writer, able to account for the tangible international interest aroused by the intellectual from Casarsa.
PASOLINI IN 6 ACTS
The central element of the exhibition are six large video projections, conceived as six chapters in which to recount as many facets, creative and biographical episodes of Pasolini’s life.
“È difficile dire con parole di figlio”
The origins and the mother
Telling about Pasolini’s main affection, his relationship with his mother, is the key to introducing the character, his Friulian origins, his move to Rome and his education. Right from the start we heard Pasolini’s voice, talking about himself and reading one of his poignant poems dedicated to his mother.
“Il patrimonio della poesia popolare anonima”
History and the City of Man
Pasolini’s concern for Italy’s artistic heritage, for its integrity, but also the defence of its centrality in the formation of our consciences, stems from his artistic interest, developed in his work as a painter and draughtsman, and ignited during his university years in Bologna, thanks to his professor, the great critic Roberto Longhi.
“Manca sempre qualcosa”
Pasolini’s religiousness and the Vangelo secondo Matteo
A pivotal theme in understanding Pasolini’s complexity is his relationship with faith, or rather with Christ. His Vangelo secondo Matteo was judged by L’Osservatore Romano to be the best film ever made on the figure of Jesus. Some of the film’s key characters were presented in a special immersive projection that pays homage to the famous work by his friend Fabio Mauri, who involved Pasolini himself in a performance.
“Il modo di essere uomini”
True fascism is homologation
Following Pasolini’s eyes and mind as they move over the landscape, over the city, through its history, opens the viewer’s mind to the anthropological, historical, architectural and social levels of the city and its profoundly human expression. Pasolini’s is a cry of alarm, against those who threaten man and society, corroding it from within, it is the prophetic and loving denunciation that made his words indispensable.
“Non si può scindere l’amare dal capire”
The awakening of the people and Gennariello
“He who prostrates himself with all his strength, even sentimental strength, against regression and degradation, means that he loves those men in the flesh. Love that I have the misfortune to feel, and that I hope to communicate to you too”. With short clips of interviews and excerpts, Pasolini’s educational power was evoked, through the famous articles collected in Scritti corsari and Lettere luterane, which open with the emblematic pedagogical treatise Gennariello, against homologation, for the freedom of man.
“Distruggere e annientare quella solitudine”
The farewell of Giovanni Testori
“Thus, those who have truly and totally wanted life may sooner than others find themselves in the very hands of death, which will make them a laughing stock. Unless pain teaches the “via crucis” of patience. But is this something that our time allows?” The finale is Testori’s writing for Pasolini’s death (Espresso, 1975): a unique consonance that opens us to the modernity and topicality of Pasolini’s research.