Blindness is the optical visual perception nullified. It is a congenital or induced condition. It is a state of mind. It is paradoxically a state of grace.
 I often had to keep my eyes closed during a performance. It happened again Saturday, May 28, when, at the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, was staged “ALBA” (“DAWN”), performance by Thomas De Falco curated by Laura Cherubini, to which I took part along with twelve other performers, three musicians and a mezzo soprano.

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Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

The artist asked us to come the rehearsal dressed in white and all wearing a wedding dress. I got separated from the virginal white dress with a red tip (worn for the previous performance, “PRIVATE TDF”) and I was wearing a new one. I wore at the wrist one of my roses, one of those I wear every day as my symbol of devotion to art. As soon as Thomas noticed that, he made me take it off. I wanted to mention that, so that Art knew that it was not my fault.

Experience the museum for one night is not easy. 
The artist must build, mold, create the night. Only after that, Barbara, Clara, Charlie, Diamara, Francesco, Naomi, Mercedes, Oliver, Jem, Sofia, Vittoria, Vincenzo and I would live in there. Time would pass so that the Ara Pacis became our home, the theater of our genesis.
Down the auditorium, bare feet on the wooden floor, we looked at us, one by one falling down. We regressed into a larval stage of which, I believe, each of us hardly remember: embryos into the hands of De Falco, ready to a slow growth to the vertigo.

Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

To welcome the spectators there was Vittoria, wearing a suit of twenty meters, sitting on a referee chair: two musicians, Alessandro and Andrea, hidden under her (a clarinet and a traverse flute).
On the opposite side, under the “Saturnia Tellus” , the relief on the left, symbol of the golden age and of the Pax Romana I succeeded in finding my peace.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Thomas De Falco, Ara Pacis

Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

Lying down, with Olivier, we were so close as far, in action as separate entities, accompanied by a cocoon sculpture, similar but not human like us. We wore our larval cloth, tended our arms to the marble of the divine Augustus, we sang the silence, we looked inside ourselves. Pliny wrote, “So deep meditation makes us blind, because the vision withdraws inside” (Naturalis Historia, XI, 54). I was close and motionless in pure cocoon born from my ivory skin, from which came free the wrapping, roots seeking sap in the cold marble and the sunlight in the promise of ”DAWN”. For a moment I feared they would die with me. What guarantees the caterpillar to be reborn butterfly once it ends its pupal state?

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Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

I felt fragile like porcelain while I was white like marble, and as cold as ice, and my skin was shivering as if it were covered with thin paper in a snowy landscape. I moved the only free arm to investigate the space with my fingertips. I forced the right arm, Olivier the left one: complementary but distinct entities. 
A beautiful song accompanied our catharsis and united all fetuses present at the same cord. Virgilia, the mezzo-soprano, moving constantly between the three scenes repeating her silences, her sudden laughter and her la, la, la. I’m not sure how many times she left the auditorium making the bodies orphans, left there with the violin.

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Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

Like a crypt, a cradle, one voracious stomach of men or a pregnant belly of a woman: the ten bodies were breathing with the music beats. Mercedes was standing alone while all others formed the nucleus of the new birth. Jem along with Naomi, alongside the little Charlie sat, while the adults lay down beside him. In the middle were Clara and Diamara, indissolubly united. Barbara and Sofia dormant shared the soles of their feet and formed a parenthesis embracing the statuary Francesco and the delicate Vittorio, who was sitting with his eyes closed and seemed to observe the scene.

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Photo credit Giovanni De Angelis

What color do the blinds see when facing the dawn? The non-existential. 
Alba is “Alba lux”. Once my eyes were closed, I forgot about colors.
I spent that space of time that precedes the dawn anxiously waiting to find out the latest metamorphosis and to encounter the “white light” that together with our bodies was rising.

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Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

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Photo credit Giovanni De Angelis

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Photo credit Tassili Calatroni

 

Credits:
Special thanks: Laura Cherubini, Ilaria Chionna, Elisabetta Genoni, Cecilia Signaroldi

Photo (cover): Tassili Calatrone

Credits:
Special thanks: Laura Cherubini, Ilaria Chionna, Elisabetta Genoni, Cecilia Signaroldi

Photo (cover): Tassili Calatrone

Performers:
Mercedes Alves
Charlie Costa
Vittoria Discacciati
Vincenzo Gioiello
Olivier Langhendries
Sofia Odescalchi
Diamara Parodi Delfino
Jem Perucchini
Francesco Soleti
Clara Tosi Pamphili
Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi
Naomi Williams

AMOlink:
redmilkmagazine.com/reverie-thomas-de-falco/