In the last decades Cultural Studies have engaged with an impressive proliferation and contamination of new fields and new methodologies of research all characterized by an emphasis on the liminal, interstitial, transitional and provisional aspects of contemporary cultural theories and practices. Hence the urge to rethink and redraw the boundaries of disciplines themselves and the intense debate that has accompanied the emergence of translation, intersection, inter-medial, and performance studies, each contributing to a radical interrogation of the multilayered constructedness of any cultural identity and tradition. Most recently Stephen Greenblatt and his international team of collaborators at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin have embarked upon a project on radical mobility as a key constituent element of human life not limited to the g/local fluxes and transactions of late modernity but virtually at work in all periods, thus highlighting the disruptive forces that shape history and stressing the need to bring to the fore “the hidden as well as conspicuous movements of peoples, objects, images, texts and ideas” (2010, 250) . In line with these critical developments, the paper aims to discuss the cultural nomadism that animates the last exhibition by William Kentridge in Naples devoted to the “Streets of the City (and Other Tapestries)”. Displayed in place of the famous and heroic D’Avalos tapestries that normally dominate the main salon at Museum of Capodimonte, the Horse and Nose tapestries by the South African artist powerfully project onto old maps of Naples and ‘Campania Felix’ the antiheroic ventures of an equestrian Nose − inspired to an opera of Shostakovich − in its helpless crusade through cartographies of territories marked by abuses of power, traumas and inequalities. The very opening of the exhibition was also artfully paired with a Lecture/Performance at MADRE (Donna Regina Museum of Contemporary Art) by the artist himself, entitled “I am not me, the horse is not mine” − a Russian peasant saying used to deny all guilt − alluding to the dark absurdism of Stalinist repression. Here Kentridge occupies a re-creative space in-between lecture and performance in order to illustrate the tense, ongoing process of “learning from the absurd”: the audience is, as it were, invited into his laboratory to further track the nose from its literary antecedents (indeed, the figure descends from a line of absurd, eccentric works from Don Quixote and Tristram Shandy to the homonymic short story by Gogol) into the artist’s experimental work-in-progress for his production of the Shostakovich opera, thus putting to centre-stage the thorny issues of individual agency and social constraint at stake in any act of cultural regeneration.
|Titolo:||"Cultural Mobility in Kentridge's 'Streets of the City'"|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|