ON THE CONCEPT OF THE FACE, REGARDING THE SON OF GOD
The indignities of everyday life, the pain and suffering of the body, heedless violence, and then a transubstantiation – one man’s gaze captured in a painting.
Up to what point can theatre help us confront what is greater than we are, when everything is derived from the mundane? A man getting ready to go to work places his ageing father in front of the television set when suddenly a stain appears, spreading over the white sofa where the old man is seated. The son patiently sets about cleaning up after his father. Looking on serenely from the backdrop is the huge and implacable face of a Renaissance Christ. Wait a minute… is he looking at us?
A mysterious, obsessive, enigmatic piece created by one of the greatest contemporary artists,On the Concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God asks in devastating fashion the question of the meaning of life by summoning the phantom of faith. An ode to compassion, a meditation on the sacred power of art and an examination of suffering and dignity, this very moving play enjoins the spectator to rethink the great passions and fevers of the human condition.
PRODUCED BY SOCÌETAS RAFFAELLO SANZIO
DIRECTED BY ROMEO CASTELLUCCI
MUSIC SCOTT GIBBONS
DIRECTED IN ASSOCIATION WITHGIACOMO STRADA
WITH GIANNI PLAZZI + SERGIO SCARLATELLA AND DARIO BOLDRINI + VITO MATERA + SILVANO VOLTOLINA
COPRODUCTION THEATER DER WELT 2010 + DESINGEL INTERNATIONAL ARTS CAMPUS (ANTWERP) + THÉÂTRE NATIONAL DE BRETAGNE (RENNES) + THE NATIONAL THEATRE (OSLO) + BARBICAN LONDON AND SPILL FESTIVAL OF PERFORMANCE + CHEKHOV INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL (MOSCOW) + HOLLAND FESTIVAL (AMSTERDAM) + ATHENS FESTIVAL + GREC FESTIVAL DE BARCELONA + FESTIVAL D’AVIGNON + INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL DIALOG WROCLAV + BELGRADE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL + SPIELZEIT EUROPA I BERLINER FESTSPIELE + THÉÂTRE DE LA VILLE (PARIS) + ROMAEUROPA FESTIVAL + THEATRE FESTIVAL SPIELART MÜNCHEN + LE-MAILLON (STRASBOURG / SCÈNE EUROPÉENNE) + THÉÂTRE AUDITORIUM DE POITIERS + PEAK PERFORMANCES @ MONTCLAIR STATE
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLACE DES ARTS
WRITTEN BY PAUL LEFEBVRE
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
ROMEO CASTELLUCCI (CESENA)
SOCÌETAS RAFFAELLO SANZIO
Questions & Transformations
Founded in 1981 in Cesena in northern Italy by the painter and set designer Romeo Castellucci, the musician Chiara Guidi and the theorist Claudia Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio soon established an international reputation as one of the most fascinating contemporary theatre companies, renowned for the aesthetic radicalism and profound humanity of its plays.
While inspired by classics of Western culture (works by Aeschylus, Dante and Shakespeare), the theatre that Romeo Castellucci and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio produce follows the performance philosophy of Antonin Artaud where, much more than the text, bodies – often atypical – concentrate and condense meaning in a stage context of thunderous soundtracks and intense imagery. High tech is combined with the age-old crafts of dramatic art to create worlds that transpose reality through a series of diffractions. Spectacular by nature, Castellucci’s theatre questions the world we live in from an essentially humanist point of view. His previous FTA presentations include Orestea (una commedia organica?)(1997), Genesi. From the museum of sleep (1999) and Hey Girl! (2007). His major works include Tragedia Endogonidia (2002-2004), an 11-episode cycle of tragic theatre and his Dante trilogy La Divina Commedia – Inferno, Purgatorio e Paradiso. The first part was presented at the Avignon Festival in 2008, where he was an associate artist that year, and the trilogy was named by Le Monde newspaper as one of the best cultural productions of the decade.