Liutenant: Davide Savorani by Romeo Castellucci


by Romeo Castellucci / Flash Art Italia n°181, 2010

Davide Savorani’s actions are self evident blocks, belligerent geometries, dances of masks and weapons made out of folded card-board paper. The performers wear helmets, armour plates, war boots, microphones and clubs; they represent star warriors, thieves or sentries with the face covered by cubist masks without holes for the eyes.
The cardboard is the new forged metal for chamber heroes, taking shape out of a ruler and scissors. The masks are called upon to complete a job: they are placed in a corner of the space and, from then on, they no longer abandon it, as Lieutenants of the space. They are anonymous and geometric figures, in there, where the anonymity that they perform is, probably, the last purpose of the battle.
To take a weapon and lose one’s name, to be no one at full strength, in potency, to be whole. To occupy a corner by multiplying endlessly the spatial vectors as projections of an explosion. Savorani’s actions are not choreographies, they are not theatrical gestures drawn into space; Savorani’s characters discover the space for the first time and they keep their place wearing out the space in a fire, until the exhaustion of their muscular fuel, as machines emerging from spirit. The form of these dances seems to draw inspiration by nocturnal folklore, coming out from a substantial amnesia, which throws itself bluntly into the obscure roots of Theatre only to discover that they must be cut off.
Folklore knocks down Theatre in just one move: by ignoring it. The low frequency of the folkloristic imagery ignores the dramaturgical complexity of theatre shifting the viewpoint towards a preceding stage of man’s adventure, towards a pre-individual singularity not yet – fully – succubus to language. These dances probably represent a possible mask feast in illo tempore, organized around the idea of an essential void left by a lost Totem.

Taking a closer look, Savorani’s practice is a total-false-Folklore, that has no affiliation, no age, nor people, not a tradition, not a purpose; no reference and no memory. Any ancestor nor the Dead. The falseness erects itself as a new missing Totem and as a new Tradition. One must fake Tradition and create a space for imagination.
Faking requires complete presence, complete corruption. How to do it. I wait for something to happen in an absolute still potential that you may call a perfect dance, if you wish. A body in contact with the eyes of the people. A dramatic advancing through a low defined glimpse.
Savorani’s false folkloristic dance annihilates the spectator’s spaces of intellectual manoeuvre who seems falling into an incapability of judgment. What throws one off guard is the lack of a general context.
For context I intend the human canvas of the Theatre-System that lightens up every so often when we see someone exposing him/herself in front of us and which requires our hermeneutical effort. Well, the strategy of these masks consists on exceeding their significance, by annulling it at its arise.
The spectator adverts the presence of an aimless fiction; not only folkloric language is false but also the actual need to invent one resonates as false. Sure enough there is no need… And that is the good news.
Savorani’s actions ultimately seem to say: – …you, look at me. I’m here; I’ve always been here. In this moment I live in this earth and I don’t know what I am. I know that I’m not a category. I’m not a thing. I’m not a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolution process, an integral function of the universe. My steps are blows without ego. And now, what I’m striking with my feet, even though you haven’t noticed, this, is our place. Earth.

It’s the same when Davide Savorani draws, also the drawings result impersonal in their flawless linearity and apparent indecisions. As those traced out with carbon paper. The pencil never passes through twice on the same spot, as if the presence of the artist were someplace else. These drawings remind me of those of Henry Darger, who traced out popular and commercial prints of his time; or those (possible?) of Buster Keaton. They want something or allude to a logical system in a world to be interpreted once again and they attempt to explain dramatically how to. They are often arranged in sequences, as instruction drawings teaching one how to assemble a specific thing through a specific montage box at one’s disposal. Yet also the “knowing how” is somewhere else and the effect that they give out is that of a melancholic mood about a technique that has always been unsuited. These drawings teach – for example – to cross one’s own fingers in a certain way, to build and unbuilt a pile-dwelling, to dig, naked, a big hole in the ground with a ship laying down nearby, or to keep a horse’s tail between one’s legs or to thread a pair of moccasin onto an animal resting on a couch; in short they haven’t experienced an idea of a real life.

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