Sixth and final episode from the reportage Catastrofe, O Cara of DROME 20, which has told us about some of the protagonists of drodesera 2011, while those who remained at home are curious to know what happened this year in Dro. Waiting for the news, Pathosformel!
DROME: Which would it be your survival kit with a view to an imminent catastrophe?
PATHOSFORMEL: Probably a camera, a few notebooks and a small recorder, or the speleological material fit to fix and recover the traces of a world survived within this image that seems to concede nothing to the human being.
D: What noise and smell would you associate to the term “catastrophe”?
P: Complete silence and the smell of a burnt wood while is raining. This is an image that has probably some close similarities to the atmosphere described in The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
D: Catastrophe as a horror, a punishment, a catharsis or an experience of the sublime?
P: We are very distant from the idea of punishment, something that we will hardly link with a catastrophe. On the contrary, we certainly perceive a catastrophe as horror and, sometimes – despite us – even as an experience of the sublime, filtered in the form of an image in the moment in which we are not involved.
D: Do you think that nowadays we are surrounded by too much catastrophism?
P: It is with no doubt a time of catastrophes and crisis, but even more a time in which we tend to justify everything through those events, an attitude that leads to the risk of accepting everything, and especially the worst, by reason of the exceptional status of the period. Maybe the catastrophe appears to us even more dangerous not in its topicality, but in the form of a banished ghost always present.
D: In 1982, Samuel Beckett wrote his pièce Catastrophe, dedicated to the Czechoslovakian playwright Vaclav Havel, imprisoned because of his political commitment. On the stage there was a subdued and humiliated man. Who would you see in Havel’s shoes nowadays? And what would that scene represent?
P: With Beckett’s words on scene we won’t see anyone, but in the middle of an empty space we will have just a little screen, broadcasting nonstop and with no causality fragments of Jafar Panahi’s films (Iranian director sentenced this year by the court of Teheran to six years of prison for his films, EN).
Met at the IUAV in Venice, Daniel Blanga Gubbay and Paola Villani gave birth in 2004 to the project Pathosformel, hovering between theatre, performance and visual arts. Borrowing their name from the expression coined at the beginning of the twentieth century by Aby Warburg (see DROME 19 – the Supernatural issue, EN), Pathosformel conceives a theatre that welcomes in itself rarefaction and suggestion. Condensing sense and form, he exhibits on the stage ephemeral shreds of life and disconnected analyses, exploring the limits and the possibilities of the body in relation to the space and the discovery of the other, which could be both a human being or an inanimate presence. Muscles, bones and moving geometries are the protagonists of the scenic exercises that balance strictness and chaos, presence and absence, lightness and seriousness, generating the doubt: is that the origin or the epilogue?
text by Francesca Cogoni
photo by Carlo Beccalli for DROME magazine