fbpx HISTORICAL ARCHIVE | Carnival breaks through the fog - 2006
La Biennale di Venezia

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Venice, Scaparro, La Biennale 1980, 1981, 1982, 2006 from the Historical Archives of La Biennale di Venezia

Carnival breaks through the fog


Possible Utopia

There is a Chinese inscription featured beside the logo of the Carnevale del Teatro that La Biennale and I chose to dedicate in 2006 to China.
That inscription means crisis, and consists of two ideograms. The first means danger, the second opportunity. Together they communicate, at least to me, that the times we are living in can offer us new adventures and, if we can seize them, new opportunities. This is true for relations with China, but for theatre as well, for the artists and for culture. It is true for everyone in this increasingly globalised world who is grappling with the dangerous new lack of attention to artistic creativity. I am approaching this adventure as part one of a much larger and innovative project, which in 2006 will attempt to bring life back to the city of Venice, and not just in terms of theatre. This city craves revitalization, it wants to be repopulated with students who can truly become an active part of it, with artisans and artists (the etymology of the two words is the same) who choose to stay here for shorter or longer periods of time, but in any case to build, with the Venetians, a veritable “island of the intellect”, a Kantian definition that was suggested to me in a recent encounter by Massimo Cacciari.
On the other hand, I don’t know of any other city in the world that can, like Venice, make theatre and piazza coexist. This is yet another reason why we decided that in 2006 the International Theatre Festival, dedicated to Gozzi and Goldoni, will take place from July 14th to 28th, so that we can use the theatres and the city squares. Venice City of Theatre. I have to be careful not to let the word Utopia, a term that is almost too dear to me, slip again for this dream. Possible Utopia. It will be of great credit to La Biennale – if it is successful – to have started it, and to the city of Venice and the Venetians, if they succeed in becoming the protagonists of new encounters, new knowledge, new cultural stimuli that could reconnect to the words used by Marco Polo in Il Milione when speaking of China: maraviglia et diversitade.


Maurizio Scaparro
Director Theatre Department

Le città invisibili

It’s not necessarily true that Kublai Khan believed everything Marco Polo told him when he described the cities he visited as ambassador. Thus began an account of journeys through cities that do not appear in any atlas. The geographic disconnect is accompanied by a historical disconnect. It is unclear to which present, past or future these cities belong, each of which bears the name of a woman.
Upon opening the book, the scents that waft are those of the Orient in A Thousand and One Nights, but little by little the repertoire of signs changes and we are suddenly in the middle of a contemporary megalopolis. The dream cities project their names into our imagination and slowly fade away to become almost invisible. Pedro Cano met Calvino and was given a first edition in 1972 as a gift from his wife: for years he tried to translate it into this sort of travel diary in which the destination does not exist in real life, but in the words of Italo Calvino, one of the most important Italian authors of the past 50 years. This edition reproduces the fifty-five drawings printed on 350gsm matt Naturalis paper tied with a ribbon.


Maurizio Scaparro