Biennale College Teatro
Croatian director and performer Morana Novosel and Italian performer Gaetano Palermo are the winners of the third Biennale College Teatro call dedicated to Site-specific Performance 2023.
Morana Novosel and Gaetano Palermo with their respective performances Fluid Horizons and Swan will be an integral part of the 51st International Theatre Festival (15 June > 1 July), following a process to elaborate and define every aspect of their project under the mentorship of the Directors Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte (ricci/forte) and the production of La Biennale di Venezia.
Inspired by the environmental pessimism of the Dark Mountain Manifesto Morana Novosel, born in 1987 and a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb, imagines an uninhabitable Venice in Fluid Horizons, the performance she is presenting. As Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte write in the motivation for their choice: “Morana Novosel seems to be uninterested in storytelling in the well-known sense of the term, but in a synchronisation of events, like a mathematical formula that finds continuous reactions; the artist thus places us in an almost divine condition, choosing events and giving them meaning. We have tried to govern the world, to act as the administrators of a superior divinity but we have failed; we watch unperturbed, unaware of the destruction we ourselves have incurred. What is therefore an appropriate epitaph for a civilisation? Novosel uses the city of Venice to mourn the loss of humanity; climate change, sea level rise, greenhouse gasses and global warming are dragging this humanity so serene in its deafness towards a renewed concept of Atlantis. Perhaps Novosel’s encampment of communication devices will arise as an expanse of sunken treasure, to tell us what we had become, testifying to man’s future: the end of civilisation is not the end of the world; the loss of our communication habitat has turned us into distrustful molluscs. Morana Novosel’s performance restores the residual capacities we can throw back into the fray towards a human revolution”.
Born in 1998, Gaetano Palermo, a graduate in philosophy from the University of Bologna who went on to specialise in theatre and the performing arts at the Università Iuav di Venezia, presented Swan, a performance freely inspired by the solo The Dying Swan choreographed by Michel Fokine for Anna Pavlova, the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Ballet in 1901. As the Directors Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte assert in their motivation: “In the typically fluctuating time of dreams, the director from Catania plunges us into the heart of the labyrinth of life with a rhapsodic performance in which the Heroine, skating on a day of sunlit iridescence, apparently isolated within the solo of her autistic bubble, hovers within a claustrophobic constellation of circular/elliptical trajectories… Gaetano Palermo casts light on the dark side of the individual through the fear of the unfamiliar other and his solitude, disassociating the gaze of the spectator in the twin role of co-protagonist and voyeur. Leading him elsewhere, into dream worlds of desire and anxieties, he triggers an identification in him (which Karl Popper, alerting us, calls the tribal spirit) – that shifts from the personal level of the performer to the universal level of our community – thus allowing us to perceive against the light the shroud of an entire Planet, rotating around the axis of the Self like a drunken dervish, displaying a seething fury and paralysing brutality in all its political-ideological, social, religious, sexual, economic and environmental forms, increasingly stratified like unbreakable rocky sediment”.
Biennale College is an experience that since 2012 integrates all the Departments of La Biennale di Venezia – Art, Architecture, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theatre, ASAC – to promote young talents, offering them the opportunity to work in close contact with mentors to develop creations that will become part of the artistic programmes.
Biennale College, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, enjoys the support of the Ministry of the Cultural Heritage and Activities – General Directorate for the Performing Arts and the Regione del Veneto.
Morana Novosel (1987, Zagreb) is a theatre director. She studied at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and graduated with a BA and MA in Theatre Directing and Radio Broadcasting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. Her main interests are devising theatre and exploring the collaborative creation processes, as well as contemporary dramatic and postdramatic theatre. Some notable productions include A logical place to meet, a devised performance based on the documentary film works of Werner Herzog, which she co-authored and directed at &td Theatre in Zagreb in 2014; Eve of retirement by Thomas Bernhard at the Croatian National Theater Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka in 2016, after winning the regional “Competition for young authors”; and Voids, a devised performance at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, in co-production with UO Odeon Art.
She led the 2017 and 2018 “International drama colony” in Grožnjan, a programme by the International Theatre Institute – Croatia which promotes young international playwrights by staging their work in collaboration with Croatian artists. She worked as an Assistant director in various Croatian theaters.
Gaetano Palermo (1998, Catania) is a performer and multidisciplinary artist. After graduating in Philosophy at the University of Bologna, he studied Theatre and Performing Arts at the Università Iuav di Venezia and Visual Arts at the Kunsthochschule in Kassel. In 2019 he took part in the higher education course “Il Ritmo Drammatico” at the Institute of Applied Arts Societas. His research is situated at the border of the real and the representation, exploring the ontology of the performance in its relationship with the real through the absurd and unsettling. As a performer he has worked for artists such as Bruce Nauman, Romeo Castellucci, El Conde de Torrefiel, Rimini Protokoll, Cesare Pietroiusti, Tamara Cubas. His first work Tinnitus has been presented in 2022 at I Fiumi della Fornace in Macerata. He lives and works between Bologna and Venice.