Simon Vincenzi, The Song of Silenus (night), courtesy of the artist

Nel pieno centro di Bologna in via Santo Stefano, nelle stanze nascoste al piano superiore dell’Enoteca Pezzoli Simon Vincenzi reimmagina la Egloga Vi di Virgilio nella quale due satiri e una Naiade trovano Sileno, insegnante e compagno di Dioniso, svenuto ubriaco in una grotta dell’Arcadia. Una volta legato, sotto costrizione, inizia allora un canto che rivela loro l’inizio della creazione, introducendoli poi in un paesaggio mitico animato da disastri, passioni e continue trasformazioni. Vincenzi ne ripropone un eco nella contemporaneità con From The Dead Air Orgy: The Song of Silenus un lavoro inedito che si sviluppa su tre piani paralleli: un’azione che si evolve lungo l’arco dei tre giorni dal pomeriggio alla sera, una performance che si ripete per tre notti alle ore 24.00 e un canale di streaming trasmesso on line e all’interno dell’edificio (Live Strem). Indagando i legami e le sovrapposizioni tra teatro, danza e linguaggio visivo, Vincenzi esplora la relazione tra movimento e immagine portando il visitatore, attraverso l’opera e lo spazio, in un paesaggio incerto e sconosciuto.

Guendalina Piselli: At Live Arts Week you will present your last work, From The Dead Air Orgy: The Song of Silenus, can you tells us something about it?

Simon Vincenzi : It is actually a new work that is being produced by Live Arts Week. I am working with the composer Will Saunders and performer Kath Duggan, both artists I have collaborated with before. We will develop the work in the space a week before we open and at the moment have a sense of multiple starting points for the work but no real idea what will be developed during our time within it!

GP: The project will take place in the hidden rooms of an old building in center of Bologna above a wine making shop. How much did this space influence the creation of your work for Live Arts Week?

SV: Because the building Live Arts Week proposed for us is so special, I decided to develop a work from the space itself. Taking all the clues from these hidden rooms above a wine shop. I felt that the shop was a portal in some way for what should happen. I often reference Dionysian ritual and as he is god of wine it seemed a good place to start. Through him I discovered Silenus, a character I had not know previously, but I was intrigued by him as a teacher to Dionysus and as someone who contained deep wisdom of the human condition. This led me to Virgil’s sixth Eclogue that essentially describes a song Silenus is forced to sing after he has been tied up in a cave.

GP: In the Eclogue VI Silenus sings about creation, leading the characters of the story on a journey through disasters, passions and transformations. Is the visitor going in the same direction through your work?

SV: No! The end of the poem describes how the song that Silenus sings is ‘tossed skyward’ – into the night sky. What we are perhaps exploring is how it lands back here after all this time. It won’t be a re telling of the song or the narrative of the poem but an echo of it through space. The form of the poem has instantly changed into that of a live stream and perhaps the mythology that Virgil draws upon is replaced by the landscape that the internet now inhabits.

Simon Vincenzi, The Song of Silenus (day), courtesy of the artist

From The Dead Air Orgy: The Song of Silenus is composed by continuous action, a performance at Midnight everyday and a streaming channel online and in the building. You investigate the the interface of theatre, dance and visual language, bringing them into different dimensions…

The structure of this has again come from our relationship with the space and the poem. Because the space feels as if it is hidden in someway, we wanted to take up residence within it rather than turn it into a performance space. The building becomes a portal for something that is taking place within it and neither present themselves totaly – both the rules of the space and live stream are myterious. In Virgils poem we don’t actually hear the song from Silenus’s mouth but described after the event, from someone we assume is telling the truth. In this work, all these different reflections of each orther are equally important. The only real thing that changes is the audiences relationship to it. The very short midnight shows will have the most sense of an audience watching something together;  whereas the time before that, when the audience can come and go as they please, will be emptier and more isolated. The act of watching the live stream of course will have a very different relationship to both the idea of the live and the audience. It is also a work that is essentially fifteen hours long, so it would be very difficult to see everything of all of it and I find that interesting. Everone who partakes in it will have a very different experiance and understanding of it.

Through your work you explore the relationship between the language of movement and the image. Do they have a common dictionary? Is it perhaps unconscious?

The idea of the image becomes more and more complicated and usually in my work it is never, or very rarely, fixed. The performers inhabit a serise of rules and understandings that insist that nothing is stable. No one thing is presented. I think that more than the unconscious (although that is important and related) there is a loss of control – over the image, over physicality and over authership (although it is a loss of control that demands great disaplin!). In this work it feels slightly different because part of the work is a live stream and that instantly feels like a more fixed, presented image in a way. But we are also thinking of it as a transmission, coming from some other place we don’t know. We have talked a lot about instability around this work.

Palazzo Pezzoli
Simon Vincenzi (UK)
From The Dead Air Orgy: The Song of Silenus

giovedì 11 aprile – h 19.30>23.30 + h 00.00*
venerdì 12 aprile – h 19.30>23.30 + h 00.00*
sabato 13 aprile – h 19.30>23.30 + h 00.00*

live stream, live installation e performance, produzione Xing/Live Arts Week, prima assoluta

Live Stream h 19.30>23.30 su YouTube canale DEAD AIR