less work, more play



DIRECTOR Kiki Sideris CHIEF EDITOR Alix Doran ART, CULTURE, A.S.K. & ALUMNI EDITORS Neri Bastiancich Camilla Pietrabissa Giovanni Saladino MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS Livia Andrea Piazza Filippo Nava PHOTOSPECTIVES EDITOR Stephanie Serra UPSIDE DOWN EDITOR Sonia Fanoni BLOG Rosa Plijnaar COMMUNICATION Matteo Zanetti Julia Westermann Valia Xanthopoulou-Tsitsoni FINANCES Sofia Adamantopoulou




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Be Objective
BOB stands for Be Objective. Why Be Objective? Ironically the contents of this magazine are anything but objective. In fact the title isn’t describing the magazine at all, but is intended as an instruction to the readers to please be objective when reading BOB; to free themselves of prejudices and predispositions and just enjoy the contents of this publication. BOB is an idea that came to me last spring, when in a moment of grand folly, I became convinced that our student body is an overflowing resource of information and creativity. My solution for managing this oversupply of resources? A bi-monthly, online, PDF-magazine through which this energy could flow and spread. Looking back, it was more a moment of clarity than silliness, of inspiration that hindered any rational thought and erased my perception of time and space for the next few months. I was hooked. I managed to convince 13 other individuals to partake. It wasn’t hard. They came willingly and most importantly enthusiastically. They invested their time and energies to this challenging experiment. Eventually, undiscovered elements started to emerge, heat was applied, double carbon bonds formed, and POOF! Out of the test tube emerged ISSUE #0, “less work, more play”. So, it is with sincere gratitude, that I dedicate this “pilot” issue to my 13 colleagues (and friends) that generously poured their creativity into these 54 empty pages without a moment’s hesitation.

-Kiki Sideris DIRECTOR


Less Work, More Play
‘Less work, more play’ seemed to be an appropriate title for the first issue of BOB magazine for a variety of reasons. This new magazine, for the people involved in its production, combines both work/studies and play. For students in management of arts, culture, media and entertainment, all these fields can be approached in two ways: they represent our personal and professional interests. These fields evoke work for today in terms of studies and work for the future in terms of career, and hopefully expertise! But arts and culture are also part of play because they are something that also brings fun and enjoyment in our everyday life. For most people events related arts, culture, media and entertainment are moments of free time and leisure, unrelated to their professional lives. For us, these events embody both work and play, ‘professional’ and personal, rational and emotional. I do not believe that any of us could attend such an event and not think about his/her future career choices, about how this event relates to what we have studied and at the same time feel free to simply enjoy the event. This double interpretation of arts and culture as objects of play and work follows us everywhere, whether we are working or on holidays, as this issue I hope shows. The articles were written about events and places we have seen during our free time and for our own personal benefit. We might play while working, and work while we play, because our professional interests are so closely related to our personal interests, but ‘less work, more play’, I believe, does not only speak to cultural management students because ‘work’ and ‘play’ can take on so many different meanings. We have just seen the ‘professional work’, but isn’t the ‘work of interpretation’ work too? Indeed, an artistic and cultural experience mixes the work of interpretation of the experience with pure emotions. Whether you are looking at the most recent contemporary art production of the most exciting artist of the century, or whether you are watching a movie, you will always have your own way of relating to, and interpreting, the experience, which is the ‘work’ part of ‘play’. The production of this magazine is, in itself, both work and play. It is a new and exciting experience, or ‘play’, for us to create an entire magazine, and think about all the things we could do or write about, but it is also work because we have to remain rational to build a project that makes sense for the team and for others. Because people and tastes are different and change, BOB magazine offers articles written about a variety of topics and events. The overall structure of the magazine has been designed especially to reflect the diversity and richness of arts, culture, media and entertainment. It also presents people, pictures and projects that are somehow linked to the articles of the issue and its theme. In this particular issue you will be able to discover and read about events taking place in Italy, as well as abroad. ‘Less work, more play’ is a story of holidays that are never quite free from work. BOB magazine, I believe, is a way to convey that arts, culture, media and entertainment are, whatever way you look at them, and for everyone who becomes involved with them, more play than work. -Alix Doran CHIEF EDITOR



We are continuously being exposed to all kinds of art products; collections, exhibitions, fairs, biennials, conferences, and the list goes on. But what do such experiences really give us? How can we avoid just being passive users and instead adopt a more inquisitive approach? Books, academic journals, and university lectures can help, but ultimately the most powerful tool we hold, is our individual ability to process the images that invade our field of vision on a daily basis. In this issue we will discover a mystical refuge in the south of France, and go for a stroll through a deserted, but heavenly Athens.

by Stephanie Serra
On the hills behind Nice, far from the crowds and movements of the Promenade des Anglais, I arrive in the house of the French artist, Alain Boullet. This former professor taught for almost 30 years at the famous art school “Villa Arson” in Nice. Exposed in many shows around France during his career, he has been living and working in Falicon during the past decade. I look around: White sky, strong light, nothing else than green trees and bushes everywhere, except for some surprising sculptures hidden here and there, little faces coming out of pots of cactuses, all here to be discovered. In the intimacy of his house, Mr. Boullet gives me time alone, some special time in silence to look. The sculptures, for most of them, are outside, exhibited next to one another. They correspond, interact, and meet while I walk and observe the strange dialogues. In this wonderland of fantasy, the artist acts as the hand of the four elements in order to create Artworks. After the moments for thoughts, we sit down for a conversation and Mr. Boullet starts talking about his life as an artist. From the youngest age, his inspiration came from the lakes in Sologne where he used to spend his summers. In the centre of France, surrounded by peace and nature, he found a very special type of clay and started making sculptures out of it. From then on, Sologne has unconsciously been the point of reference, present in each one of his paintings and in the colours of his sculptures. Ever year, he brings back that particular clay to the South of France. He must then work the material, wet it and extract all non-fluid textures. Only then can he start to sculpt. The combination between nature and art is present during the entire creation process. In the garden, some of the most impressive sculptures are represented by “little rock faces”. Once the sculpture has integrated the rock and the work looks like one entity, it is baked. The fire has to create its colours on the materials. The little characters are then left outside, polished by the rain, the sun and the wind. Slowly the colours evolve. For Mr. Boullet, Art has no time and it is therefore very common for him to work on


"Being an artist means not numbering or counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, standing confidently in storms, not afraid that summer may not come."
The sculptures are presented with painting in the background, a “mise en scene” that fits in perfectly with the art works. The most impressive room of all is a small dark area where all of Mr. Boullet’s works are displayed, a life of labor organized in little white boxes. It almost feels religious because the extract of a life is condensed in a room. All those different decades of characters are staring at me with the most provoking look. All is there, condensed in a peaceful and intimate room. The sun hits me, going back out in the strong daylight, out of this little area of thoughts and meditation. The garden is quiet and I can now see better the little faces hidden in the cactus plants. I do not want to leave. This is an artist who followed his talent in the most elegant way, far from the market and its fluctuations and who is today looking back on a life of work. He saw something most people do not see and was not afraid to continue his search. I have met a very special artist and I hope that one day, many more art lovers will get the chance to enter his world. For now, I had to leave, but I knew that in my back, many little faces were looking at me. www.plaisirdimages.fr/alainboullet.html

a piece that he created 20 years ago. What counts is for it to fit its ideal. The trip continued to his studio. Surrounded by faces, he works with a few books and postcards or images he likes to go back to. He shows me a picture of a satellite view from earth that looked exactly like the texture of one of his sculpture: “If you look closely, the same images appear in micro and macro all the time, it is just a question of looking.” Henri Moore is one of Mr. Boullet’s major inspiration. He studied the forms but most of all, Moore’s techniques of sculpting. It’s all about the size: “You see, it has to fit in the hand in order to work with it, Henri Moore had his sculptures enlarged but his creation was done in little sizes.” The house is also full of surprises. On the 1st floor, there is a little exhibition space, next to his archive. Walking through the corridor, I spot a framed sentence from Rilke (Letter to a young Artist):


15th of August. Athens is deserted and the heat oppressive. My Greek friend is driving on one of the many motorways that cross the city. “After the Olympic Village turn right…Heaven should be there, shouldn’t it?”. I was a little bit surprised by the question and immediately I replied “No, I guess. Or, at least, I have never imagined Heaven as a huge empty parking in front of a gigantic stadium. Abandoned.” We parked and we started looking around. Nobody, nothing. Just skeletons of the empty buildings used for the Olympic games in 2004. No signals “Heaven” or “Entrance” or “Where’s Wally”. “I’m sure it is here. I checked twice. I read articles and saw advertising everywhere. It has to be here, how can we not see a Biennale?!”. Ironically, the fourth pavillon of the the 2nd edition of the Athens Biennial is called «Splendid Isolation, Athens». “That’s Greece! I’m sorry if our Biennale is not in Venice in Giardini or Arsenale but in a ghost neighborhood”. After a long walk around the Faliron Olympic Complex, we saw a little door under an overhead street. The Esplanade Building. Yellow lights and a desk. “Tickets to Heaven?”- “Two thanks”-“If you want, you can rent a bike for free and…take an iPhone as a guide”. Not bad, I thought. A cone of mirrors is indicating the entrance. Ok, here we are. The Athens Bienniale is curated by Xenia Kalpaktsoglu, Poka-Yio and Augustine Zenakos. The three curators chose “Heaven” as the theme for this edition. Really brave choice and challenging for the 150 artists. In the turbulent and chaotic contemporary world it is difficult to imagine something that could mirror paradise. The sources of inspiration are really limited. Only looking at the personal and individual insight, or at single and bright moments, maybe it is possible to go close to an intimate and private happiness, something close to heaven. Be able to express and represent this is a hard job. The artist needs to “have” a genius. The event is divided into six exhibitions curated, each one, by a different curator that gives his own interpretation of the theme. The first space is titled “World Question Center” curated by Chus Martinez. The works of the 23 artists are exposed on separè disposed in a geometrical way. Therefore, the shape of the room becomes rigid and straight. Heaven is here a complex net of words and thoughts that critically look at the past, as showed by the work of Lisi Raskin (“Hiroshima”), philosophically analyze the present (Erick Beltràn, “4 inflection points”) and hope in the future (Dorothy Iannone, “The next great moment in history is ours”).


By Neri Bastiancich

The second exhibition room, curated by Diane Baldon, is spiral shaped and follows the more classical travel of the Divine Comedy. The visit is a mental loop that brings the visitors through a wide range of media. From the political interpretation of hell in the work of Athanasios Argianas and Mark Aerial Waller to the purgatory of Adam Chodzko. The exhibition continues with the third pavillon curated by Cay Sophie Rabinowitz situated on a large steep open space that goes up to the second floor. In this section is exposed Ettore Sottsass with the series “Architettura Virtuale”, amusing photographs in which the artists add some elements to the landscapes. Another work is the mountain made by little pieces of banknotes of Republic of Cyprus, work of the artist Christodoulos Panagiotou. The fourth pavillon is titled “Hotel Paradise”. The exhibition reminded me of Pink Floyd’s “So you think you can tell Heaven from Hell”. In this section absolutely not. Grotesque and satanic visions, black art, mystery and nightmarish figures surround the whole section. In order to find a little bit of peace, both for the eyes and the mind, the visitor has to be saved by two important artists. The immortal American master Robert Smithson with the slideshow “Hotel Plenque” and the young and famous Paul Chan (Triennale Turin 2008, Whitney Biennial 2006) with its “Cemetery Keyboard” and the funny videos “Sex and the New Way”. The last pavillon, “How many Angels can Dance on the Head of a Pin?” hid nice surprises that saved the whole Biennial. On the door there is a quotation of Dante again “Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch’entrate” work made by the Parisian cooperative Société Réal-

iste. Thus, we entered. The first work is an interesting collage, made by Christian Tomaszewsky, “Hunting the pheasant” that is an homage to all the people killed during the “hunting season”, from Rosa Luxenburg to Aldo Moro, and then J. F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and others. The exhibition path continues with Angus Fairhurst, student from the Goldsmith College, that printed many times the same page of a newspaper “1st-7th July 2002”. The result is an interesting condemnation against the strong power of the media that are able to manipulate the reality and our imagination by building fake paradises and true hells. The biennial tour of Heaven ended with a nice ride around the new port of Athens where outdoor works were installed forming the “Live” pavillon curated Dimitris Papaioannou and Zafos Xagoraris. In the end it turned out to be a pleasant afternoon. The overall organization was good, considering the low budget (€2 million), wastes were avoided and the creativity increased; a good start. Concerning the art, the general impression is that the Muses abandoned the Greek lands, at least on the contemporary art scene. However, we need to appreciate the effort, and surely something good will come out in the future. There are already some promising signals coming from spaces like “taf - The Art Foundation”, an amazing little space, dedicated to contemporary art. www.theartfoundation.gr


This is not a professional photographical output, but a place to merge subjective points of view to build a more objective one. So Be Objective, as BOB said! Look around. Images everywhere. We take pictures, we share them, exchange them, stock them, look at them, forget about them and pull them out of an old drawer to reminisce. In the era of digitalization, photography has become a new game where the objective can be pointed at anything, from the most serious to the most futile subject. The freedom of a quick “click” is sometimes abused so choices have to be made in order for the images to start interacting and, by speaking a common language, build a common sense. OUR PHOTOSPECTIVE: Black and White. Do you trust us? YOUR PHOTOSPECTIVE: Your time to play.



Location: Venice Day: October 3rd, 2009 Playground: 53rd Venice Biennial Photographers: Sonia Fanoni - Stephanie Serra

From left to right: Spencer Finch, Big Bang (Mars Black), 2003. Luis Roldán, Dominios Del Lobo, 2009. Raquel Paiowonsky, Mutantes, 2009.



Hans Peter Feldmann, Schattenspiel (Shadow Play), 2002-2009.



Elmgreen & Dragset, Death of a Collector, 2009.


Luca Samaras, Doorway , 1966-2007.


Michelangelo Pistoletto, Seventeen Less One, 2008.


Bruce Nauman, Fifteen Pairs of hands, 1996. Bruce Nauman, Hanging carousel (george skins a fox), 1988. Akira Kanayama.





Sometimes we take culture for granted. People, history, traditions, dialogues, heritage. Other times, instead, an analytical thought crosses our minds and we stop and reflect. Be Objective magazine offers this particular space to just such reflections; entering our everyday lives in order to offer a glimpse into some common cultural encounters: trips we went on, food we ate, urban centers we visited, old traditions we rediscovered, senses of fashion we express, and so on. So let’s get started with a trip to the traditional and quaint, but nevertheless evolving Italian south and then a rushed visit to a highly structured and complex museum in the Big Apple.

by Giovanni Saladino
Contemporary art is finally reaching the traditional lands of Sicily. In February 2009, with the opening of Palazzo Riso, the new regional contemporary art museum, we have witnessed the most significant event, from both the national and international point of view. But to be clear, we already had in the last few years some innovative galleries and private institutions that carried on a discussion about art from a contemporary perspective. The new initiative of Azienda Agricola Mandranova, a small agrotourism company near Agrigento, is one such example. They chose to dedicate some spaces of the farmhouse to contemporary art. The project started in June, through a partnership with a young and promising contemporary art gallery from Milano, AreaB. The Di Vincenzo family, that own and manage the company, approached this new challenge zestfully. The old hangar, that only a few months earlier was jam-packed with olive oil processing equipment, turned into an openspace gallery surprisingly suitable for contemporary art. Currently, a collective exhibition with a selection of young Italian artists from AreaB gallery (Vanni Cuoghi, Paolo De Biasi, Massimo Gurnari, Tiziano Soro and Siva) is being held in the space. The location is very suggestive, thanks to the contrasts that emerge between the surrounding countryside and the inner exhibition set up. Guests generally come from outside Italy, usually from USA or Britain, and are often surprised and aston-


ished by this unexpected vision. Between July and August another interesting project took place, more linked to the promotion of young Sicilian artists. The first step involved a collaboration with Marco Bonafè*, a young artist from Palermo. The artist spent a short period in residence, so as to develop some work linked with the territory. The exhibition ALTER-ECO is the final output of this experience. It is a collection of three different interventions, all site-specific. Using natural elements and old furniture found around the ruins of the Di Vincenzo country, Marco gave new meanings, and new life, to something that was supposed to be dead. Il Giardino del Campiere, the great installation inside the old Frantoio, honors the dialectic between natural and artificial, light and shadow, stillness and movement. All the elements are in a charming equilibrium, creating a special atmosphere inside the room that captures everyone who enters. Pennate, the installation placed inside the common spaces of the main building, aims to alter a familiar setting, destabilizing the vision of the viewers, giving shape to a sort of surreal corner. Last but not Least, Famiglia Di Vincenzo Don Tancredi, is the most moderate and apparently ironic intervention. The inclusion of a picture of an old codger (found by Marco in a local street market) among those of the Di Vincenzo ancestors could seem at a glance just a game of contrasts, but in reality it goes much deeper than that. Don Tancredi, a name borrowed from the Gattopardo, a novel written by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, is not an accidental reference. The agrotourism farm is situated in the Palma di Montechiaro neighborhood, where the majority of the novel takes place. Within the story, Don Tancredi is certainly the most innovative character, inclined to change but at the same time aware of his origins. In my opinion, this is exactly the right mood to have in order to keep on going with a grave and concrete discussion about contemporary art in Sicily. * Marco Bonafè is a young Sicilian artist born in Palermo in 1981. In spite of several experience abroad (exhibition in New York, London, Barcelona), he choose to live and work in Palermo, his city born, in order to catch stimuli and live experiences that are precious sources of inspiration. www.palazzoriso.it www.mandranova.it www.areab.org


by Camilla Pietrabissa
This past summer I spent two weeks in New York City. As a tourist, and as one with a taste for contemporary art, I was in the right place to see cutting-edge galleries and alternative spaces, which I did relentlessy. Since the friend I was staying with lived in Williamsburg – the Brooklyn neighbourhood selected by various young artists to live and hang out in – I had the opportunity to see where the origin of the art world I have dreamed of for years actually lies. After several days of studio and gallery visits, of highly conceptual exhibitions, challenging – not to say indecipherable – installations, I finally made up my mind and decided to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Not that I did not like what I had seen so far, it's just that sometimes you need a break from the ubiquitous dogma of progress and experiment, and feel a desire for the other dogma, that of ‘conservation’. I knew that the MET had a Francis Bacon exhibition, which I wanted to see, and one about the ‘Pictures generation’ (John Baldessarri, Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince amongst others) that appealed to me. Since I had the opportunity to go around the city with people that proved to be amazing guides, I had not previously read anything about the museum or prepared myself in any way about what to expect from the visit. I only imagined that the Metropolitan museum would be a big, ‘encyclopaedic’ compound, like the Louvre or the Art Institute of Chicago. When I entered the museum, escaping the fresh summer rain, I found it extremely crowded, even though closing time was only an hour away. With the map in my hands, I ran to the second floor to see the exhibition about the ‘Pictures generation’. On my way there and back, I passed through the immense Reja (choir screen) from the Cathedral of Vallaloid and stood in awe. Along with the amazing rooms from Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece on view at the British Museum, this was one of the most impressive pieces I had ever seen. I didn’t know that the next day, coming back to see the famous terrace – a raft on Central Park’s fluffy green sea –, I would also be seeing an Egyptian temple wholly reconstructed, Duke of Montefeltro’s wooden studiolo coming from Gubbio and a two floors Spanish Renaissance patio. All this would already be enough to fill an entire museum, but the Metropolitan has an infinite collection of never-ending surprises, perfectly displayed and labyrinthic enough to trap the visitor, while always making it easy to find your way out. Damn, for four years now I have read books on museum studies and museum management, visited exhibitions and collections wherever I go, but never had I imagined seeing all I had learned in front of my eyes! Amazing architecture, great conservation of all the pieces, clear and userfriendly directions, entertaining educational apparatus, and the possibility to easily jump from exhibitions to the permanent collection, not to speak of the consistent appeal of the price: with the ‘suggested donation’ system, you can get in with just a few cents! The sudden love for what I had in front of my eyes was soon replaced by two orders of consideration: first about the story behind such a collection, and second about the comparison with the Italian management model. On the one hand, I was faced with one of the institutions that the Italian government had recently fought against, and beaten in an attempt to bring back several supposedly ‘stolen’ artefacts to their country of provenance. A museum like the Metropolitan depends precisely on the assumption that through the acquisition and the accessible display of pieces coming from different cultures it is possible to have an overview of world history and culture. This is a very Western way of thinking about history and culture, but no-doubt an effective one. The history of every American museum is interconnected to that of its donors and its board, its ability to attract the general public, and to have an economic return in order to broaden the museum’s activities. There is a fine line between what should and should not be bought and transported from one continent to the other. We can be on Francis Haskell’s side, valuing the artwork’s safety as a criterion to decide on its movements. In this view, collections are okay, but big moving retrospectives are not. Or, we can stay on the Italian government’s side, nationalistically calling


for a property right that is desperately trying to reinforce its national museums. But, as many others have said, culture is living culture, and one cannot easily claim an artist to be of one culture or another, as is the case with many Greek sculptures being made in Italy in ancient times. It is a matter of recognizing, once and for all, the necessity of a simultaneous local and global identity that goes far beyond the use of political power and reads culture as the product of a continuous interrelation of individual histories and colonial empires. On the other hand, I started pondering about the perfect display, the immense management apparatus, the majestic equilibrium between the parts that make up the whole. All the principles I have so often thought about were perfectly in place: the quality of the ‘service’ provided was at its best, the spectator was placed on a pedestal. Nevertheless, for some reason, I felt un-

comfortable. I could never have done what the protagonists do in Jules et Jim, running through the Louvre, with that many people everywhere. Nor could I fully appreciate the renaissance saloon with that smell of food coming from the nearby cafè. I felt a subtle nostalgia for the Uffizi, with its long lines, bad lights, and its sense of refusal for the public horde which gives the visit a personality, a sense of imperfection that is the essence of history in place. I had realized, through great amusement and consequent disgust, that I did not want to become a disposable visitor, a throwaway element ready to consume, seeing all the masterpieces at once, buying the reproduction of a Caravaggio or a Manet, and easily finding my way out. Somehow, I think we still need the art experience to be a little more complex in order to remain engrained in our minds... at least for a while anyway.

Jules et Jim (1962), François Truffaut



Cutural exchange is such an abused concept in our globalized age. We read, study and hear about it, often in very theoretical ways, but before all that, which is nevertheless of extreme importance, sometimes we should just notice the small episodes of exchange that are constantly occuring before our eyes. The “exchange programs” in universities and schools are one such instance. So, this section is dedicated to those who left, and those who came, those who turned their worlds upside down and agreed to tell us how they did it. Ilaria, from Milan is now in Copenhagen and Emanuel from Copenhagen recently came to Milan.
NAME: Ilaria Montorsi HOMETOWN: Milano CURRENT LOCATION: Copenhagen (non ho ancora imparato a scriverlo nel modo corretto) WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND? Discovering myself and the world outside WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL AT HOME? Stepping in my house and being able to smell my mom cooking while my dogs run up wagging their tails WHAT'S THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY YOU HAD SINCE WHEN YOU ARRIVED IN COPENHAGEN? to find a funnel (imbuto) WHAT'S THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU SINCE WHEN YOU ARRIVED IN COPENHAGEN? Having party inside the CBS univeristy building WHO'S THE FIRST PERSON IN COPENAGHEN YOU SPOKE WITH? The employee of the shop chain "7eleven" WHERE YOU THINK YOU WILL BE WITHIN ONE YEAR? Who knows? AS A CHILD, WHICH WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TOY? Doing puzzle and play with my fake kitchen


netfo ,ti tuoba raeh dna yduts ,daer eW .ega dezilabolg ruo ni tpecnoc desuba na hcus si egnahcxe larutuC ew semitemos ,ecnatropmi emertxe fo sselehtreven si hcihw ,taht lla erofeb tub ,syaw laciteroeht yrev ni -xe“ ehT .seye ruo erofeb gnirucco yltnatsnoc era taht egnahcxe fo sedosipe llams eht eciton tsuj dluohs esoht ot detacided si noitces siht ,oS .ecnatsni hcus eno era sloohcs dna seitisrevinu ni ”smargorp egnahc yeht woh su llet ot deerga dna nwod edispu sdlrow rieht denrut ohw esoht ,emac ohw esoht dna ,tfel ohw .naliM ot emac yltnecer negahnepoC morf leunamE dna negahnepoC ni won si naliM morf ,airalI .ti did
NAME: Emanuel Schwartz HOMETOWN: Copenhagen CURRENT LOCATION: Milano WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND? Re-adjusting to my new life in Milano WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL AT HOME? Recognition, an environment that is friendly and welcoming. WHAT'S THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY YOU HAD SINCE WHEN YOU ARRIVED IN MILANO? To find Farina di Segale and to figure out the bureaucracy of Italy WHAT'S THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU SINCE WHEN YOU ARRIVED IN MILANO? Me trying to speak italian WHO'S THE FIRST PERSON IN MILANO YOU SPOKE WITH? The taxi driver at Malpensa airport. WHERE YOU THINK YOU WILL BE WITHIN ONE YEAR? I will be living in Berlusconis mansion at lago como or just be writing thesis at Bocconi AS A CHILD, WHICH WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TOY? HeMan and G.I.Joe




Media is a pivotal term in our contemporary reality. From private relationships to public power, from production to marketing, from cultural production to cultural consumption, media is constantly evolving and modifying our behaviours, perceptions, lifestyles and expectations. Appropriate reflections are necessary. Through the eyes of its writers, this section will follow the evolution of media such as cinema, internet, radio and publications. First, we are going to live an Indian cinema adventure and then we will try to understand some of the complexities intrinsic to being a young filmmaker.

When landing in India last July, my planned trip did not include Mumbai and I therefore did not particularly think about Indian cinema, although it is something I am naturally curious about. I thought the Indian cinema industry was more or less all in Mumbai, ‘Made in Bollywood’, and so... end of story. I was, however, wrong, and I could very quickly sense the importance of cinema and films everywhere. I was based in the city of Pondicherry, in the state of Tamil-Nadu, in the South-East of India, and I was consequently over 1300 kilometres away from the world-famous Bollywood. But the importance of cinema was just as clear in Pondicherry. On my second day of exploring the city, I stubbled across the making of a film in the former French part of the city, the so-called ‘white quarter’. At a street corner, surrounded by fancylooking square greyish-white houses, there were about twenty Indian men and women, actively trying to shoot a scene and struggling with the wind. My friend and I stopped to watch people trying, with the help of an old ventilator, to make long and colourful clothes blow in a specific direction. It certainly was not a Hollywood super-production (as some French tourist mockingly remarked), but it was great to see, and quite admirable in its own way: The temperature must have been close

By Alix Doran

to 40C° in the shade, and the sun was high in the sky, but all these people kept on moving around, operating hardly modern equipment. I cannot help but wonder what the images will look like, considering this archaic equipment, but most of all, I wish I knew what the film was about... Although we were present while this film was being made, disappointingly, neither me nor my friend were asked to participate in this film. This might sound weird and presumptuous but it is not, and here is the reason why: I discovered that it is quite common for white people in India to be asked to be part of movies and tv ads. You might walk around, anywhere in India, be completely absorbed by your sightseeing, and suddenly be approached by someone working on a film project who asks you to participate, against payment, in an Indian production. You may wonder, ‘But what exactly would be expected of me...??’. And you would be right to wonder. If you spend a little bit of time in India and care to watch even just a few minutes of television, or watch a movie, you will probably realise that white people in Indian productions play various roles: it might, for instance, simply and innocently be the presentation of a new toothpaste, but it might also be to dance in a big


film production. Let me explain the latter. When we realised how cheap and easy it was to go to the cinema, my friend and I decided to go and see a movie. We ended up going with some French students we met, and a couple of Indian guys they knew. To say the film was great would be lying. It was, unfortunately, simply boring. We all fell asleep, including the two Indians we were with, and although I can usually appreciate Indian films, with the dancing, singing, passion, drama and tears, I could not enjoy this particular one. There was, however, something very interesting: when the male protagonist sang his first song, he was suddenly surrounded by a group of white women dancing in a rather suggestive manner, wearing mini-shorts and extremely low-cut tops, clothes Indian women would probably not wear in a country where shoulders, and most of the body, should be covered at all times. It reminded me of what I had read about early Indian films and the fact that some female characters, at that time, were played by men dressed as women. However, as society evolved, women were allowed to act, though obviously were not allowed to dance the way European actresses might dance. The history of Indian cinema is as long as the history of Occidental cinema. Over time, commercial cinema has become prominent in India and it is indeed this cinema that we are exposed to in Europe. The lower budget productions do not yet hit our screens but we can still get a flavour of India thanks to the commercial films being exported.

While in India, I went into a dvd shop and asked an employee to show me which films he thought were worth watching. Most of the films he pointed out, were films that I had already heard of or even seen at the cinema back home, which just confirmed what I already suspected: with the recent European interest in Indian cinema, the films we get to see at the cinema or buy on dvd, are films which have been very successful in India, and which are therefore thought likely to attract European audiences. The price of the dvd in itself was also an indication of how successful the film had been in India: some dvds cost four times as much as other ones! The films exported are often Bollywood films, made in Hindi, but I now know this is only a part of the Indian film production, and regional films, made in local languages, are also culturally very important and reflect the different influences and identities of the various regions: for instance, I was told that movies made in the region I visited were usually very violent and bloody, something the movie I saw there was not, although perhaps, the dvds I brought back with me will confirm this rather ominous observation. But even if it is not ‘violent and bloody’ I am pretty much guaranteed to spend 3 hours in front of my television, watching passionate lovers and possessive families being torn apart, the evil Englishmen being fought against by brave Indian peasants, fate acting its part as it must, all merged into a great story told with

songs and dances.


By Filippo Nava
Filmmakers usually do everything by themselves, they build up a production, they write the script, they look after the photography and direct their own movies. Films are like big projects, very difficult to manage and as a matter of fact one single person is unable to direct the entire project alone, without being helped by a professional staff. The difficulty in shooting short movies for example, is that the filmmaker cannot possibly cover in the best way all the roles involved in the production: surely some technical and artistic aspects could eventually be neglected because not enough attention and capabilities are dedicated to everything that is needed to create a product of quality. Once a filmmaker decides to take care of the direction himself, he should give others the chance to contribute, to each specialize on different specificities of film production so that the best competences from everyone can be exploited. Movies are conceived as collective works that should be managed by different people, each with its specific role, and not only by single filmmakers. However, beginners should be selfish and arrogant in order to build up their own outlined personalities in the specific field of movie-making. Short movies are sort of weird contraptions to test ourselves: tools to check our capabilities to handle big projects. Once we discover our talents and strengths we can then focus on what really could be the appropriate role for us, for example such as the one of directors or producers. By gaining experience with short movies, beginners can understand which direction they can chose to follow in the film industry. Moreover, it is, nowadays, easier to shoot movies, thanks to the most innovative and particular, but yet affordable, new technological devices. In the past, film-quality was lower than that of today, and the time needed to edit a small project was so long that no more than one movie per year could be produced. Today, digital cameras and video cameras, and upgraded editing software, enable young film-lovers to shoot their own amateur movies without devoting to it as much effort and time as before. Filmmaking has become easier and more accessible to all. It can therefore easily be a way to experiment and have fun, as well as a means through which to learn about oneself and about the mechanisms of an industry. Consequently, the big challenge for filmmakers is to be aware of the big potential they have in hand, and once they are conscious of that, to start planning care-


Lars Von Trier

fully every single aspects of what they want to produce in order to generate a well-groomed product. Printing a 35mm film in a master copy costs a lot of money, but new technologies enable a reduction of costs in terms of time and money. They also give filmmakers the possibility to focus and concentrate on all the production aspects of movies. By dedicating to production more time and attention, filmmakers can be perfectly ready on the day of shooting to shoot a good work, from the point of view on the artistic research that lies behind the moviemaking itself. According to this, everyone can become a filmmaker, a producer or run an independent company to produce its own movies. But not everyone is able to become an artist, someone with something to say, and characterized by his particular mode of expression and his specific way of framing and looking at the world. But how does it work if someone wants to enter the film industry, intended in a broader sense and also including television, documentaries, video clips and commercials? First of all, there is a big distinction between actors working in the higher end and those working in the lower end. While the high end refers to very structured managers working together as organizations, such as specific production or distribution companies, the low end, on the other hand, concentrates on all the creative imaginary that is generated by the auteurs. In a way we can distinguish these two ends as, on one side,

the ones who create, the producers, and, on the other side, the others who really make the movie, the filmmakers. The more naive creators, most of the time, start their professional path, by self-producing their own work. Once someone has been noticed by a person who is interested in his work, commissioned video clips or documentaries are used as a tools to spread the voice of his professionalism and after a while the doors of the commercial market open up, to further assess his ability as a director. Here, the word of mouth appears to be fundamental and once a filmmaker has succeeded in building up a name, he can decide whether he wants to work in the commercials or television market or whether he wants to risk it in the actual movie industry, where he has to fight to keep his identity untouched, as he would be a new-comer. It also happens that filmmakers become known through other artistic channels, like, for example, the field of contemporary art, where a lot of visual artists challenge themselves with the new experience of video-making, intended as a more dynamic and avant-garde means of expression. For what concerns the Italian film sector, there is a big problem caused by the distribution channel, where debutants are not helped by the industry itself. Most times, the films produced by these artists therefore seem like they could not interest the public, and so many distributors decide not to bet on them, and prefer to give space and visibility to already well-known products like the “Cinepanettoni” and plenty of vain teenager comedies. In fact, the majority of films, once edited and finished, remain closed in drawers, because no distributor seems ready to bear the risk. Many movies therefore remain unpublished and will never see the darkness of the cinemas. It appears justified to question ourselves about what could be done to face this penalizing, and limiting, condition for the national movie sector, that unconsciously presents a proper vivacity and a new generation of authors numerically considerable. The only thing that new producers and distributors should do in the future is to bet on, and give voice to, young and innovative filmmakers in order to repopulate the industry, now considered poor in valuable contents, and to look at the past, so the industry can find and redefine again a well defined identity. For most people, filmmaking remains a personal leisure because the industry is not yet flexible and open enough to accept new ideas and talents for what they are, but this has to change, if the industry wants to regenerate itself and survive in the long run.



Antoine de St Exupery, Le Petit Prince

Photographer: Stephanie Serra Locations: Zurich, Venice









Performing arts are about stories. Big stories of small characters and little stories of big characters. Some of these stories are hidden within music tunes while others live just for a few hours on a stage. Their collective nature, is made up of a complicated texture of creative individuals, people who enjoy mixing and molding different artistic genres into one work. By writing about entertainment, we hope to recreate the moments of interraction and exchange, that occur before a concert, during a festival, or after a performance; those short encounters in public spaces, that leave us with long lasting memories. In this issue we will take a peek at the small but dramatic story of a big character, Myrtle, in ‘Opening Night’ by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. We will also reflect on the pornography of information with the three little non-characters from ‘Pornobboy’ by Babilonia Teatri.

[Images (c) Jan Versweyveld]

by Rosa Plijnaar
Entering the theatre you almost feel like you are intruding. Instead of being fooled by huge stage-tricks, fake backgrounds of mountains, a living room in the sixties or any other setting, this stages shows you back stage. Opening Night is a new theatre play by Ivo van Hove, based on the film of the same name by John Cassavetes. The film made in 1977 is not the first film Ivo van Hove converted into a theatre play, in the past years this has become part of his brand. Stories with complex characters, inner battles and without many changes in settings, become even more impressive during a live act. Examples of his conversions are 'Scenes from a Marriage' by Igmar Bergman and 'Angels in America' by Tony Kushner. However, 'Opening Night' is one of the more complex conversions so far because it actually contains live video images of the actors while they are playing. The play in the play The play tells the story of Myrtle (Elsie de Brauw), the leading actress in the broadway-play The second wife. Myrtle has a lot of difficulty playing her role because this character is a woman struggling with getting older, but she doesn't completely collapse until a devoted young fan dies in front of her eyes in an accident. This makes Myrtle feel useless. What is she still doing on stage? Faking grief? Try-outs fail, and dramas occur when she walks offstage in the middle scenes, changes all her lines, and starts talking to her public directly about how ridiculous her co-actor looks with his fake mustache. When she is offstage in the dressing room, or at home with a glass of wine, she starts talking to the ghost of her dead fan, Nancy (Hadewych Minis). Maybe Nancy can help her understand the character she has to play. How was it to be young and sexy? And how do you change over the years? But what started out as a good idea, turns 180 degrees when Myrtle becomes always more dependent on Nancy. She starts drinking more and more to forget her problems, and when the premiere of her play approaches, there is only one thing left to do: Completely drunk, she stages a fiscal fight with Nancy and eventually 'kills' her imagined helper. Reciting her text all the while, she ends up playing a magnificent première and, therefore, giving e twist of her own liking to the play. Theatre families But even more than the underlying battles Myrtle fights with herself, her relationships with her director, ex-husband and leading male, and producer are complicated enough by themselves. The story of a


theatre-family which completely collapses when their main star loses it. Ivo van Hove explains in an interview that this is exactly what makes this play interesting. A sneak peak behind the scenes of an ordinary play. The director who always tries to make and keep everybody happy; The producer who, in the end, just has to make money; the playwright who feels nobody understood what she really wanted to say with her play; and hear/make-up personnel and stage managers who feel they are the only ones really understanding what the actors need, but do not have the power to make it happen. The setting The stage setting and decors create the possibility to understand when you are seeing bits of Opening Night and when the actors are acting the play in the play, The second wife. The one hundred audience members sit stage right as the audience of the play in the play. On top of this construction, the video screens placed all over the stage and theatre makes you feel you are watching a live documentary and making-of. Ivo van Hove decided on purpose not to see the actual film of Cassavetes, but to work from his screenplay to avoid comparison. It is refreshing to see that theatre and video-images can work together, not just for aesthetics, but to support the goal, message and feeling of the play. If you know what a theatre-family works like, this play will give you numerous laughs of recognition. Know what it takes when the show must go on...

The theatre play ‘Opening Night’ by the Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Theatre Company Amsterdam) and NTGent (National Theatre Gent). Concept: Ivo van Hove Leading roles: Elsie de Brauw, Jacob Derwig, Hadewych Minis and Fedja van Hûet. Seen: 26 August 2009, City Theatre Amsterdam, The Netherlands Tour until June 2010 Info: www.toneelgroepamsterdam.com



by Livia Andrea Piazza

Babilonia Teatri, a young theatre company that became famous by winning the Premio Scenario with their play Made in Italy, was hosted by CRT Teatro dell’Arte to play their new production Pornobboy. Babilonia Teatri has always focused on social issues and this time the pornography of information is the main and only character on stage. You may think that this is nothing new: we all know about the “media-bombing” we everyday go through, we are all aware of the infinite number of boobs and butts we see everyday, even in the most unexpected places, and we find ourselves attracted by the need to know every single useless detail about everything we couldn’t care less about, from the cruelest murder to the newest couple of the star system. The banality of this topic may be a matter of fact but this doesn’t imply that it is not worth talking about and most importantly, before criticizing this choice, you must see Babilonia Teatri in action. On a stage occupied just by an empty billboard, three actors wait for the public to sit, they then begin to cover the billboard with promotional posters of “Pornobboy”. When the billboard is all covered and the three actors, dressed just like in the posters, take an attitude which is just like the one they have in posters, it all starts. A “theatrical blob”, there are no better words to describe the juxtaposition of lists made by wordplays (lists of newspaper names, names of magazines for women, national days dedicated to something, soccer players and whatever else you can imagine) and tongue twisters which recall childhood as well as horror movies. The enumeration of things seems to be never-ending and during one of the funniest moments, it alternates news referring to a soccer game with the two public letters exchanged between Silvio Berlusconi and Veronica Lario. What is most impressing, besides the incredible actors’ vocal technique and the unnatural immobility of their bodies,

is the performance's essentiality, which makes the message and the experience for the public much stronger. Lists and enumerations go on giving the impression of being in front of a newscast you can never switch off, and you eventually realize that pornography of information is not as banal as you thought. Watching Pornobboy makes you feel the physical sensation of the media-bombing and this is a queasy sensation that is everything but banal. This impression is reinforced by the fact that there are no characters on stage who give an interpretation of the blob. Interpretation is completely left to the public, together with the latent awareness that if we are forced to watch and hear all about crime news and gossip columns, it may be because there is something hidden, something that TV news and newspaper cannot talk about. Why is this connected to ‘less work and more play’? It’s just because this performance is really fun. Throughout the show, the public is overcome by uncontrollable laughter and moments in which terrifying aspects of reality find a balance between drama and irony. What is best is that the final scene in which the three actors are submerged by an ejaculation of huge proportion which is the result of forty-five minutes of hypnotic media-bombing: the ejaculation invade the whole stage, completely covering the actors up. This is the way used by Babilonia Teatri to tell their public that they are not in the position of judging or giving a solution for all this, that they are just where everybody else is and that they are using information in the same way everyone else is. Personally, I really appreciate this humble position which is something uncommon in many theatre companies that work on socio-political issues. So, keep an eye on Babilonia Teatri’s next move, they will be at CRT until October 18 with another production “Pop Star” and then they will be bringing their performances all around Italy.