Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bologna art scene

My recent planning for visitors has resulted in a collection of pamphlets for events, music, etc. around town that has me excited about being here again and feeling more secure about my niche. "Did you know so-and-so is playing at il Covo next week?" I can ask my friends, very satisfied with myself.

A few evenings ago Marta introduced me to a friend of hers who wanted to see a spettacolo at RAUM, an art space near Via del Pratello, where we go to the osterie and bars frequented by students and their dogs and assorted gritty types who hang out with students and dogs. (see random heat-induced observations/delusions on my old blog about shady characters and dogs: the panca bestia phenomenon)
Some highlights of the performance art piece of the evening: an actor exploding lightbulbs in a microwave, iceskating costumes, lots of moving around heavy equipment cases for no apparent reason, a Roman gladiator, rollerskates with hexagonal wheels, a monologue delivered at 50,000 decibels, video feed of the running of the Olympic torch. I quite enjoyed the playfulness of it, the surprises. But I was dismayed to see so many straight faces. Come on people, even the artists are laughing. Trying so hard to make some complicated meaning as if anyone screaming at you in an iceskating costume should be taken very seriously.

Lightbulbs in a microwave are pretty spectacular. DO NOT try it at home. I had to do some breathing exercises to not be too freaked out to enjoy it (oh god, they're going to set the whole place on fire, oh, we're being poisoned by exploded lightbulb fumes, uh-oh, we'll be trampled if something happens), but when I calmed down and stopped jumping everytime a bulb popped - like popcorn! - it was really cool.

In retrospect, I'm wondering what happened with the girl there with her cat on a leash. I can't imagine cats taking to the evening's events too calmly. I didn't see it being peeled off the ceiling, so I suppose all's well.


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