O OVO E A FIGURA
Freedom now rules beauty.
Nature provided beauty of form,
the soul provides the beauty of play.
Now we also know what grace is.
Grace is beauty of form under freedom’s influence,
the beauty of those appearances that the person determines.
from “L’uovo e la figura”
Within the exhibition, the artist presents sculptures he created. Each sculpture illustrates a scene
within an unknown and unpublished 18th century Italian theatre play called “L’uovo e la figura”.
Scene 1 in which after a quarrel, Giovan de Chiozza
wants to push Domizio de Chiozza’s right eyeball so
deeply into his head so that it may burst. The servant
brooms the floor. He addresses the audience directly
by giving the following remarks:
A life in the blink of an eye. A performance without a
rehearsal. A body available. I don’t know the role
that I play. I will only guess what the piece is about.
Poorly equipped for life, for glory. I bear the pace of
actions with difficulty. I improvise even though the
improvisation disgusts me. I stumble upon my
ignorance at every step. My instincts are mostly
wrong. The stage fright that at least speaks for me is
all the more humiliating. The extenuating
circumstances seem cruel to me. The words and
gestures cannot be withdrawn, the stars cannot be
counted. No. I stand in the set and see how solid it is.
The precision of various props is striking. The
rotating mechanism has been working for a long
time. Even the most distant mists are lit. No doubt it’s
the opening night. And whatever I do becomes what I
did. Once and for all. In this life. I am what I am. An
actor in this play. The narrator of this world. Mundus
Scene 2 in which Belfantino sits in the smoking
room of the Contessa de Chiozza and tries to
comprehend the extent of his misconduct. If you
cannot reconcile yourself to the law, remain in the
Scene 3 in which Barnabucchio the great actor
stands on the side stage. He has to give his famous
monologue but doesn’t dare because he suffers from
terrible stage fright. He is haunted by hallucinations
of an outlawed and feeble-minded little man that
brags about wanting to cut off his penis and his balls.
The little man yells: “Did the wise man not say: Seek
the soul’s beauty! Before you seek the body’s? Body
and soul are simply words of changing reality.
The state became idle, its citizens flat and brazen. I
shall cut off my penis and my balls as I seek peace
and redemption for my tormented body. Not my soul!
As I order the people to unite and fight the
Ultimately Barnabuccio holds the hand of the stage
technician Quinto seeking for consolation.
Scene 4 in which Severino went to the old rock gate
to collect strawberries for his master. Instead he
discovers a disturbing crime scene and finds a
Scene 5 in which Calimero and Eufrasio try to
resolve a difficult intellectual disagreement through a
fight. Calimero eventually wins the argument.