thursday 27 april – 9 p.m.


Nico Vascellari & guests (I/USA/CAN) 
with Prurient / Cristina Kristal Rizzo / Silvia Costa / Dana Michel / Luigi Ontani / Costante Biz / Coro Alpino RC 

Scholomance (II)

performative environment, italian première, production Xing/Live Arts Week

“As I am on the subject of thunderstorms, I may as well here mention the Scholomance, or school supposed to exist somewhere in the heart of the mountains, and where all the secrets of nature, the language of animals, and all imaginable magic spells and charms are taught by the devil in person. Only ten scholars are admitted at a time, and when the course of learning has expired and nine of them are released to return to their homes, the tenth scholar is detained by the devil as payment, and assists him in ‘making the weather’..” (Emily Gerard – Transylvanian Superstitions)

Scholomance (II) is a large sculpture of variable dimensions and forms. Constructed by combining industrial and natural elements – steel and bronze castings – it plays host to an extended happening with performance, sounds, speeches and actions by artists here invited by Nico Vascellari according to their common researches on nature in its many forms. The piece immerses in a noisy productive confusion resembling a forest where the sedimentation of heterogeneous materials creates a self-induced mutation process. The images and sounds generated during the happening are documented by camera and audio recorders installed directly on the sculpture. The documentation (light and sound emissions) remain as part of the sculpture and are played both visually and audibly within the environment from which it is taken. The sculpture was conceived as an organism and as such it grows, modifies, lives and dies at all the same time. Scholomance is the new ambitious proposition by Nico Vascellari; it is a suspended object, an environmental amalgam of allusive artifice and camouflage, inhabited by present and deferred signals, sounds, glows, and human-animal interactions. Scholomance aims to create an imaginative scenario, drawn from the layering of popular culture that includes folk inspirations, underground currents and videogames.

a project by Nico Vascellari
performers: Prurient, Cristina Kristal Rizzo, Silvia Costa (sound by Nicola Ratti), Dana Michel, Costante Biz, Coro Alpino RC, Luigi Ontani and Nico Vascellari
video by Carlos Casas
production BDC-Bonanni Del Rio Catalog e Codalunga,
with the support by Fonderia Artistica Battaglia and Neon Lauro
rendering environment Elvio Del Monte
production Scholomance (II) Xing/Live Arts Week VI
structures by RES.CO Restauri e Costruzioni
supported by Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna

Nico Vascellari is considered one of the most versatile Italian artists of his generation. Cultural anthropology is the framework for his complex and eccentric installations which combine performative and sculptural elements with drawings, collages, videos and sonic extravaganzas. Folklore, nature and the alternative underground scene contribute to the artist’s crossing of contemporary visual culture. Vascellari – himself a singer in hardcore bands – operates using rebellious artistic gestures that originate in tribal rituals of an archaic world. Being both musician and artist, he combines sculptural installations with sound performances. Through his performances he investigates the relation between the viewer, the space and the action. Inspired by his fascination with rituals, spiritualism and cult, he reflects on the thought of destruction as a driving energy to the construction of things. He has been dedicated numerous solo shows both in Italy and abroad, and recently at Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester (2016), Villa Medici Rome (2016), Estorick Collection London (2016), National Gallery of Arts Tirana (2015). Some of the most notable group exhibits are: Palais de Tokyo Paris (2017), Museion Bolzano (2016), Museo Del Novecento Milano (2016), Beyeler Foundation Basel (2014). Among major exhibitions: Manifesta7 Rovereto (2008), 15a Quadriennale di Roma (2008), 52a Biennale di Venezia (2007). Nico Vascellari opened to the public part of his studio in Vittorio Veneto with Codalunga project, a space dedicated to sound and visual experimentation that hosted until today more than 250 artists, musicians and creatives of the international scene.

Prurient is Dominick Fernow’s longest-running project (since 1998), his most personal, and his most adaptable. As an artist and musician born in Wisconsin, he spent most of his twenties in New York, then relocated to Los Angeles and now Berlin. Across literally hundreds of CD, CD-R, vinyl and cassette releases – many of them on his own Hospital Productions label – he has built up a rabid cult following around the globe. Originally an outlet for his harsh noise exorcisms and sonic terrorism, Prurient has gradually become a more amorphous and open-ended entity. “My involvement and interest in noise is actually entirely anti-musical. It’s all concept.” Recent work has explored new spaces. Whatever future musical metamorphoses Prurient undergoes, we can be assured that the cathartic, confessional nature of the project will remain constant. Along the years, Dominick Fernow has grown other parallel identities and several musical projects such as Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Exploring Jezebel, River Magic and Cold Cave.

Cristina Kristal Rizzo, italian dancemaker based in Florence, has been active in the Italian contemporary dance scene since the early 1990s. She attended the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York, and the studies of Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown. Once back in Italy, she has collaborated with different artistic subjects, such as Teatro Valdoca, Roberto Castello, Stoa/Claudia Castellucci, mk, Virgilio Sieni Danza, Santasangre. Rizzo is one of the Kinkaleri founders, to which she has actively collaborated across the international contemporary choreographic scene. Since 2008 she has begun an independent choreographic production, addressing her research to a theoretical reflection with a strong dynamic impact, whose purpose is to regenerate the act of creation itself and to start reasoning on the present time. Among her recent productions: Prèlude, Ikea, BoleroEffect and La Sagra della Primavera Paura e Delirio a Las Vegas. Apart from her shows and performances, she carries out an intense activity of experimental proposals, like the special project Piattaforma della Danza Balinese in collaboration with the choreographers Michele di Stefano and Fabrizio Favole. As guest choreographer she has created choreography for the main Italian opera houses and theatre institutions, such as Teatro Comunale di Firenze/Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Balletto di Toscana Junior, Ater Balletto.

Silvia Costa is an italian director and performer from Treviso. After finishing her training in visual and performing arts at the University of Venice (IUAV) in 2006, Costa began to explore the protean medium of theatre from every possible angle, revealing unknown aspects, creating links with other artistic fields and developing a profound and global vision. With her long-time collaborator – the composer and musician Lorenzo Tomio – Silvia Costa pursues an artistic enquiry in which formal experimentation complements an investigation into human nature. Costa is an artistic chameleon – nomadic in the forms – takings on the roles of actress and director, but also designing the costumes, lighting, and set devices for a dozen performances (La quiescenza del seme, A sangue freddo) and theatre works (Stato di Grazia, Quello che di più grande l’uomo ha realizzato sulla terra), installations and videos (Musica da Camera, Tabula, Emotional Intelligence). Since 2012 she has created numerous performances and installations for kids, and since 2006 she has collaborated and performed in the theatrical and operatic productions directed by Romeo Castellucci. Her work has been shown in Italy and abroad.

Dana Michel is a choreographer and performer based in Montreal, Canada.  Before obtaining a BFA in contemporary dance at Concordia University in her late twenties, she was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player. She is a 2011 danceWEB scholar (Vienna, Austria) and is currently an artist-in-residence at DanceMakers (Toronto, Canada) and at Usine C (Montreal, Canada). An amalgam of choreography, intuitive improvisation and performance art, her artistic practice is rooted in exploring identity as disordered multiplicity. She works with notions of performative alchemy and post-cultural bricolage – using live moments, object appropriation, personal history, future desires and current preoccupations to create an empathetic centrifuge of experience between her and her witnesses. Her first solo work Yellow Towel (2013) was featured on the Top 5 in Canada. In 2014, she was awarded the Impulstanz Award (Vienna) in recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishments and was highlighted amongst notable female choreographers of the year by the New York Times. Her recent solo Mercurial George was premiered at Festival TransAmériques in 2016, followed by her newest Palna Easy Francis, a mutable work premiered in Berlin. Dana Michel has been awarded in 2017 with the Leone d’Argento for the innovation in Danse from the Venice Biennale, for her original approach.