Provocare Realtà – Provoking Reality
Reality is, without a doubt, at the centre of social and political debate, or, better, its narrative is. The measure, the distance between reality and its narrative, has always defined the field in which intellectual debates and artistic movements have been played out. At the foundation of Western thought, Plato and Socrates pointed out the relationship between truth and the horizon of opinions.
If reality is always, in any event, the perception of the real, always and, in any event, an image of itself, then what do we really know of it and what relationship can we have with it? With Jocelyn Benoist we can name a condition that is quiet commonplace: everything is both true and false, everything exists only if it is narrated. It would seem necessary, therefore, to enter into the field of narration, not strictly to clarify confines, but, above all, to modify and go beyond, to open a real space to the possibilities of other points of views, of other tales.
Reality seems to appear ever more predisposed and organised within a singular image of the world, like a snapshot which has determined subject and background to immortalise, omitting the rest, as if our vision must grow accustomed to only one singularly accepted point of view. So what is there outside this reality, outside of this gathering of inter-subjective social conventions? If that which we believe to be reality is nothing more than the result of a reaction of power, set within an ongoing process of subjugation and control, then what goes beyond it? What is there outside that image?
Art, therefore, is a possibility or instrument to be used to deconstruct this narration which surrounds us, this photo that depicts a univocal image. It is between the pixels of this possible image within which we are depicted that art can find its value and its sense, it is in searching to forge the imaginary and make it plausible which amounts to a political act, it is in provoking reality that one attempts to change it because, as opposed to communication and information, art is not hostage to current events, which today, more than ever, risk to make us lose any real perspective of society itself. Provoking reality means calling into question the legitimacy of the present, calling into question the prescribed order, refusing the fear of imagining what’s new, of inventing the future.
Down deep, this is what we ask of artists – to help us provoke reality, to help us – as Edgar Morin suggests – to “co-construct” a reality that doesn’t refute complexity, a model of interpretation and creation, whether it be pliant, open, problematic, capable of making us reason with the uncertainties and pluralities of experience, with the transformation of signs and symbols. Reality as a temptation, a temptation to be provoked, to transform into another reality.
The performing event as a possibility and not as an object of vision, the spectator as questioner and not as a mere observer, the festival as a place to attentively build the conditions for something to really happen, a shared time during which to practice the future. Starting from these desires, comes the thought that inspired and articulated the formation of Short Theatre. New hypotheses of community, convinced that there is no other way of transforming if not together.
Programming as a system of signs capable of creating an artistic and cultural map. A collection of discourses, inventions, processes, illuminations, atmospheres and practices that allow one to inhabit that map, cross it, leave it behind. The plays, the conversations, the workshops, the concerts and DJ sets, the cinema and the performances – it all becomes a pillar to undermining reality, provoking it, dismantling it and putting it back together, to preconceive the results, the desires, the possibilities. The scene as a place of greeting and passage, gathering and branching out that nourishes itself through the presence of community – small and large, temporary and permanent, fixed or nomadic – relaunching a neverending dialogue about the state and necessity of making art.
Since 2006, Short Theatre is an opportunity to put together and convoke a community, comprised of artists, public, technicians, all of whom move through or live in the city. A place to look at the landscape of live performance, both Italian and international, in all of its irreducible complexity.
The Thirteenth Edition of Short Theatre stratifies its structure, drawing out some of the elements of its sections, amplifying and underscoring the artistic direction – Tempo Libero or Free Time, in which the offers of workshops and formation are readily available; the Residence Projects or Progetti in Residenza, which, as of last year, have added their creations and actions to the principal calendar of events; Controra, which dazzles the senses with its musical and evening programming, perking up the “subversive” edge of the festival; Panorama Roma, a new format that creates a space for sharing in the explorations of Rome’s artistic scene, an attempt at bolstering a cultural, civil and political dialogue within the city.
Following the Six Day War, the Druse community of the Golan region was moved from the Israeli-Syrian border, and, still today, entire families continue to live divided on either side of the border. Until a few years ago, the only way to communicate was a tactic that gave a hill on the border its name – the Shouting Hill. The druse families gathered on this hill to launch their voices across the border, thus bringing separated families together for a moment.
Gathering to go beyond borders, imagining tactics to get to where it would otherwise be impossible to arrive. What stories are we not paying attention to? What are the forces we are not giving voice to? Rewrite the narrative of the present, overthrow the hierarchy of narration, convoke the future, here and now.