MASBEDO at Manifesta 12 Palermo
Terra di Nessuno
July 20, 2018, 9pm
La Sirenetta Arena
A video performance by MASBEDO featuring Mario Baffico’s film
Following the Protocol no. 90/6 installation in Palermo’s Archivio di Stato, inspired by the personal and professional life events of film director Vittorio De Seta, the artistic duo MASBEDO gives life to a new chapter of their Videomobile project: a multi-channel video installation conceived as a portrait of Palermo and its socio-cultural context through the re-reading of the history of cinema.
The video performance Terra di Nessuno—scheduled the next Friday, July 20—marks the start of the Manifesta 12 Film Program at La Sirenetta Arena. MASBEDO’s video performance is the second event of a trilogy of performances that arise from the project exhibited at the Palazzo Costantino until November 4.
For this work the artists have taken their inspiration from the troubled story of a 1939 film directed in Sicily by Mario Baffico titled Terra di Nessuno. The screenplay is based on two novels by Luigi Pirandello: Requiem Aeterna Dona Eis Domine (1913), which focuses on the struggle of a village for the right of humanity, that is the possibility of burying one’s own dead in a land where one lives and works; and Romulus (1915), which tells the dream of a man who wants to found an ideal city.
Projected for the very first time in Sicily, Baffico’s film deals with powerful social contents – from the clash between peasants and landowners to a revolutionary anxiety of social justice and fidelity to utopia – that were decisively “subversive” for the period. When the film came out, it immediately attracted the censorship of the fascist regime, which caused slowdowns and hitches in the production until eventually the film disappeared from theatres and was ultimately lost in the post-war period. The only surviving copy was accidentally found at the Library of Congress in Washington in the late sixties, where it was held as a “war prey” after being confiscated from the warehouses of an Italian distribution company in 1941. The director John Cassavetes was the first to rediscover the film. He recognized the courage and unconventional contents and, from the visual point of view, compared it to a ante-litteram “western”. In 1981 the film was brought to the National Film Library in Rome, even though two of eight rolls were missing.
For their performance, MASBEDO intervene on this vacuum performing the missing sequences from their Videomobile, thus generating new images.
The themes of the film are those we are still forced to reflect upon in our everyday life. The added images created by MASBEDO will bridge the existing and the missing, past and present, cinema and performing arts. The soundtrack of the new scenes will be played live by Alberto Turra, pioneer of the avant jazz scene in Milan, and by Ramon Moro, trumpet player with an unmistakable stylistic imprint, identifiable in every occasion for the visionary and imaginative sound.
Terra di Nessuno and Videomobile are works commissioned by and for Manifesta 12 Palermo, The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, and produced byBeatrice Bulgari for In Between Art Film. Starting from July 20, the Manifesta 12 Film Programme will unfold in a calendar of screenings and events scheduled every week, from Thursday to Sunday, until 9 September. The complete programme of films and events is available online at www.manifesta12.org.
The screening sessions are open and free for everyone. Some screenings will include introductions and Q&A sessions, please check the specific events on the website for more information.
The Manifesta 12 Film Programme is produced by In Between Art Film, Italy and supported by Vidi Square and Sicilia Film Commission, Ufficio Speciale per il Cinema e l’Audiovisivo con l’Assessorato al Turismo della Regione Siciliana. The screenings at La Sirenetta Arena are supported by Progetto di Riqualificazione Urbana Infrastrutture e Sicurezza della Città di Palermo.