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De Facto is a poetic multimedia performance that processes materials related to the Ustica Massacre in a composition that goes beyond the historical episode to decipher the signals of our present.

Within the performance the legal language – adopted by Judge Rosario Priore in  his 1999 verdict stating that Ustica was “a real act of war, a de facto and undeclared state of war” – interweaves through the performers’ work with an electronic music live set and a visual apparatus that takes back to 1980, the dawning era of home computers, developing an event targeted at an audience interested in performing arts, in contemporary music production and in a deeper understanding of the last forty years’  Italian history.

In De Facto, legal language becomes particularly interesting because of its specific characteristic, which makes it different from other linguistic codes: in the legal area, language is not only an instrument to expound, reason and describe, but is also law’s constituent element.  A crime is such only if established by the law, which is a linguistic product. Within a law court, a fact coming from an extra-linguistic reality needs to be narrated, in order to become a legal matter. Otherwise it doesn’t exist.

In De facto, all the elements juxtapose in their clarity, creating an unstable force field, a bubble which is about to burst; the audience is shrouded into music’s wave, its glance treads along high posts soaring to the sky. At the same time video images recall those ludic interfaces which in early 1980s have characterized the massive diffusion of computer technology. The old-time synths produce music of fragmentation, deviation and collision; the iconic sounds are pulverized into musical gestures which are isolated and disconnected. Priore’s words are deprived of their specific matter and contingent elements: to us, they immediately seem to address the entire community, becoming style, planting their roots in a shared moral quality. The violence of the fact, the suffering, the perseverance of the ones who fight for truth, the human experience, the functional inquiries become a knowledge achievement, a human deed and a literary text. Meanwhile, aside, half-hidden in an entanglement of signs, other people act and pronounce, the grotesque reality develops and the entire scene is trodden by spirals of coloured smokes. The music carries on and the singing resumes.


by and with Fiorenza Menni e Andrea Mochi Sismondi
and with Francesca Pizzo
music composed and played by Caterina Barbieri
video images by Giovanni Brunetto
sound: Vincenzo Scorza
helmets by: Laura Pizzirani
communication and promotion: Tihana Maravic and Federica Patti
administration and organization: Elisa Marchese
technical direction: Giovanni Brunetto and Vincenzo Scorza
image and graphic: Diego Segatto
production: Ateliersi
in collaboration with Associazione Parenti delle Vittime della Strage di Ustica
debut: 27th of June 2016 in Bologna at Giardino della Memoria for the XXXVI anniversary of the Ustica Massacre
in the frame of  bè bolognaestate 2016
Ateliersi thanks Daria Bonfietti • Andrea Benetti • Rosario, Susanna e Giulia Priore • Amelia Frascaroli • Fabrizio Colarieti • Eugenia Delbue

on stage

27.06.2016 Giardino della memoria, Museo di Ustica, Bologna MACRO Testaccio, Roma Europa Festival, Roma




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