VolterraTeatro 2010

XXIV edition of VOLTERRATEATRO FESTIVAL managed by Associazione Carte Blanche and directed by Armando Punzo took place in Volterra and Pomarance, Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Montecatini Val di Cecina and Monteverdi Marittimo from 19th of July to 1st of August 2010.

Festival VolterraTeatro is promoted by Comune di Volterra, Regione Toscana, Provincia di Pisa, Comuni di Pomarance, Castelnuovo V.C., Montecatini V.C., Monteverdi M.mo. Special thanks to Cassa di Risparmio di Volterra and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Volterra for their support.

XXV edition will take place from 18th to 31st of July 2011

“I would prefer not”

During the past winter, while preparations for this Festival were still in progress, it happened to me to encounter the character of Bartleby, the Scrivener born out of the genius of Hermann Melville. Since then, I decided to use his same peaceful answer in opposition to any external input which suggested me to yield, to let myself go, and to get involved in a life imagined and desired by others.
I looked for something worth to be shared, a poetic thought already shaped trough some other author’s mind. A thought containing a clear sense of  unease and rejection, an uncomfortable feeling made by the same opposition and refusal felt by other human beings. I looked for a positive proposal generated by a refusal, a sort of alternative fruit of  denial, able to encourage me and to help me in the choice of artists worth to be invited to our Festival.
A negation able to give a new interpretative key for the “poetry of the Impossible”.
The literary critic Lewis Mumford, in a critical essay concerning Melville, argues that the author, trough Bartleby, is speaking to “his friends” :
“Some kind and pragmatic friends suggested him to become a business-man and earn good money, or to write books cherished by the public, destined to become best sellers. To these same friends he continued to give the same monotone answer. I would prefer not”.
Leo Marx considers Bartleby’s history as a parable, a paradigmatic example of the artist’s fate in the modern society. The blind wall that B. contemplates could be seen in a metaphorical sense as the insuperable limit from which the modern artist becomes obsessed. According to Mordecai Marcus, the role of B. would be “to criticize sterility, impersonality, and mechanical adaptation in the world where the lawyer lives”.
In this beautiful Country so naturally inclined to a conservative attitude, where men of culture, artists, researchers and innovators in various fields of knowledge, are too often seen like beaten dogs, always complaining about the chains imposed them by their supervisors and occasional masters, the only thing left to us is to persevere in trying to “relaunch”, offering new fuel to keep at least one inflame fire.In these shameful times where economics are blackmailing culture, like the hamletic “Denmark’s a prison” where only petty life, no longer even the illusion of change, seem to have the honor of citizenship, we still have to try  to count ourselves like “king[s] of infinite space”, notwithstanding our “bad dreams”. Bad dreams affected by the boundaries of this impregnable fortress, this nutshell where only trash television (made by audience and pure entertainment) and the culture of the court seems to find shelter. Instruments these, able to control the minds and weaken even the best spirits in a nation.  I can fly as long as the length of my chain allows me... "But the art is so great and life is so short”...What can a Festival, a Theatrical Festival, a meeting of minds baffled by the obscene spectacle of barbarism do, if not to look at this world as the clear glance of a child used to do?
I refer to a child that, frightened of this world badly adult, should repeat, with a placid mood and a calm mind: "I would prefer not ".

Armando Punzo

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