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"J" Project. On the Concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God

"J" Project. On the Concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God

"J" Project. On the Concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God
"J" Project. On the Concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God
Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (Italy)
Conceiving and staging Romeo Castellucci
Original music Scott Gibbons
With Gianni Plazzi, Sergio Scarlatella Together With Dario Boldrini, Silvia Costa, And Silvano Voltolina
Collaboration to the staging Giacomo Strada
Realization of the objects Istvan Zimmermann And Giovanna Amoroso
Sound technician Matteo Braglia Marco Canali
Light Technician Fabio Berselli

First night – 2010, Essen.

The performance On the Concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God presented in Essen before and in Antwerp has been aimed at being the first part of a diptych together with The Minister’s Black veil. 

This is the beginning. I want to meet Jesus in His very long absence. Jesus’ face isn’t there. I can see paintings and statues. I know more than a thousand painters fr om the past who spent half their lives trying to reproduce the ineffable, almost invisible grimace of sorrow which appeared on his lips. And what about now? Now, he is not there. What is really making its way in me is the will. It’s about putting together the will and Jesus’ face: I want to be in front of Jesus’ face, just there, wh ere what mainly strikes me is the first part of the sentence: ‘I will’.
Once again, Romeo Castellucci turns to an apical icon of the human history: Jesus, with whom the time too confronts itself in most of the world. Here the picture of Jesus starts from the Renaissance painting and particularly in the topic moment of the Ecce Homo. In this precise instant, tradition states that Christ looks the spectator into the eyes, with a powerful effect of dramatic involvement in the questioning. In this calculated confusion of sights’ touching and crossing, the Face of God’s Son becomes the picture of the man, of a man or even of the very spectator. And so, in the performance, the sight of God becomes a sort of light illuminating a series of human actions which can be good, evil, disgusting or innocent.
The performance doesn’t tell about Jesus, nor about the worship; it has no content of social condemnation and it doesn’t want to be easily provocative. At the same time, Romeo Castellucci keeps his distance from mysticism and debunking because, in the end, it’s just the picture of a man. A man who is exposed naked in front of other men; who, in turn, are exposed naked by that man.
The performance, from its very title, imposes initials which synthesize the name ‘Jesus’ at the maximum degree; Jesus is a name that is so present for so many millions of men on earth that it can become almost invisible because it is so deeply implicit. It is present beyond the conscience and the science; beyond the feeling and history; it is essentially and radically present, apart from one’s will. A name, somehow, sustained by the groove of an experience of references that is millenary.
On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God is a performance with some of Socìetas’ theater’s fundamental ideas: religion not as a mystical or theological manifestation, but as part of that stock of primary images and practices the theater draws on. A vocabulary of diffuse symbols and signs which can form the basis for multiple, contradictory and even embarrassing relationships is launched at the spectator, who becomes the reagent of this universe.
Trova Roma15
It would be quite erroneous to assume that the subject matter and symbolism of the production On the Concept of the Face of the Son of God by Romeo Castellucci’s Societas Raffaello Sanzio is about religion in its ascetic, spiritual or doctrinal aspects. To be sure the huge reproduction of Christ giving His blessing can’t but affect the happenings on stage. This iconographic and at the same time pictorial image ascribed to Antonello da Messina (not “Ecce homo” as some are inclined to believe but “Salvator Mundi” – “Savior of the World”) is disturbing and exciting; it is impenetrable and inscrutable, but at the same time it conveys a certain message to the audience. This is an eye-witness of human suffering and evil who by the very nature of his being keeps silence.
Thus in his new production Romeo Castellucci once again turns to the absolute who doesn’t react to brutalities and abasements – “the bagatelle of life” as Céline called them – while we, mere mortals, continue, as is shown in the production, striving to combat the onerous and shallow routine.
Trova Roma15
The theatre that I seek and practice is never an interpretation or a commentary on something pre-existing. I seek the total presence of a body that is dense and tangible; I seek the lines of force that emerge fr om a cold, visual objectivity that withdraws matter from reality and from time.
Romeo Castellucci

Executive Producer: Societas Raffaello Sanzio. 

in Coproduction with: Théâtre National de Bretagne / Rennes Theater der Welt 2010; deSingel international arts campus / Antwerp; The National Theatre / Oslo Norway; Barbican London and SPILL Festival of Performance; Chekhov International Theatre Festival / Moscow; Holland Festival / Amsterdam; Athens Festival; GREC 2011 Festival de Barcelona; Festival d’Avignon; International Theatre Festival DIALOG Wroclav / Poland; BITEF (Belgrade International Theatre Festival); Spielzeit’europa I Berliner Festspiele; Théâtre de la Ville–Paris; Romaeuropa Festival; Theatre festival SPIELART München (Spielmotor München e.V.); Le-Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg / Scène Européenne; TAP Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers- Scène Nationale; Peak Performances @ Montclair State-USA

May 28, 29, 30, 31
Tereza Durova’s Teatrium na Serpukhovke
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