Mysterious forces manifestedChiara Lagani (Fanny&Alexander)
For sure, I don’t feel at home with manifestoes
Perhaps because it’s not easy for me to agree to, or to compose slogans
In any case I feel this time is already very declarative, communicative
The only kind of manifesto that I have practised regularly is the one of “affiches de tour”
Or billboards, political posters, posters of my shows, made for advertising, like on TV
Here I will only try to decipher this word, in its possible meanings, to treat it like an enigma
Obvious, open, clear, blatant, striking, tangible, plain. It’s only the first combination of possible meanings.
If we think of the root <manifestum> touched by hand, caught red-handed, suddenly the whole set changes
At least it’s good to think of the sense of awe and wonder that catches those who write and read manifestoes
No doubt for someone composing manifestoes today may have become a habit or a cause of ordinary stress
And I admit that inventing this page is not really simple for me, I would like to have a little more sense of humour
Let’s get back to our word. “Il manifesto” is a newspaper, the first I remember and as a child I remember my mother reading it
This may be the reason why the idea is familiar and attractive for me, despite my limited vocation as an agit prop
I am a good deal more fascinated by the opposite: what remains secret, waiting to be discovered, the enigma, what is not present, hidden, occult
So much so that even now I feel like writing smaller and smaller, you can see, as though I too were trying to make myself Unknown after all
I imagine it’s an inborn attitude, or a taste, a vision of the world, that also, in a sense manifest in its intention
Yes, said the poet, <don’t ask us for the word that from all sides boxes in our irregular soul and declares it> rather than a text it’s a test
Everybody who loves manifestoes must know that before saying who we are we’ll state who we are not and what we don’t want
An inevitable fact remains, the invisible encloses manifestoes: spaces between words, blanks of design; to deny this would be to give power to one’s opponents
Even amateurs, beginners to manifestoes, recognise this. Experts, if not idealists, at least advertisers, make it their golden rule.
We stand at the limits, we leave trace of possible meanings only at the extreme borders. You might find it naive.
In every letter, tiny silence and in the magic of back to front palindrome words I have here attempted to write, I believe arcane forces appear.
Chiara Lagani, actress, dramatist and playwright of the shows of the group Fanny and Alexander, based in Ravenna and active throughout Italy and Europe. The group, founded by herself and Luigi de Angelis in 1992, currently manages the former sulphur warehouses called “Almagià”, now converted into a theatre, cultural centre and space dedicated to different musical and performative activities. Together with Luigi De Angelis, Chiara Lagani is the creator and artistic director of all the group’s projects. In 2017 she received the Riccione Special Award for Innovation in Drama and the year after a monography of her work was shown at the Riccione TTV Festival. During the same year, 2017, together with Elio Germano she wrote the show “La mia battaglia” which debuted in the 2017/2018 season and was published in 2021 in the Super ET Opera Viva of Einaudi collection. She edited and translated for Einaudi’s series I Millenni the volume with the 14 books of Oz by Frank L. Baum (2017), illustrated by Mara Cerri, and still for Einaudi, her translation of Lewis Carroll’s third novel, Sylvie and Bruno. Cf. https://fannyalexander.e-production.org/