Those Winged Words

Friday 12 &
Saturday 13 November 2021

two evenings of performance, meter and story-telling

7:15pm – 7:45pm performance by Erica Scourti
8:00om – 8:30pm performance by Giulia Crispiani

7:15pm – 7:45pm performance by Allison Grimaldi Donahue
8:00pm – 8:30pm performance by Diego Gualandris

With contribution by Fatima Al Qadiri, Blondell Cummings, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Yoko Ono, Nicola Pecoraro, Natalie Yiaxi.

Curatorial team: Beatrice Benella, Adrienne Drake, Ilaria Gianni, Daphne Vitali.

Behind surviving manuscripts of humankind lurks a longstanding, textless oral tradition. Unwritten tales, experiences, knowledge, magic and wisdom, which have travelled through spaces, places and time, performed by voices and inscribed in memories to be conveyed through projections of the imagination. Wingéd words (as Homer defined them) that have been performed, sung, rhymed, on rare occasions yelled, more often whispered by female voices, and to all of which we are indebted. Spoken words that merge into legend, history, romance. Performance and the act of story-telling thus walk hand in hand and the reciting of oral traditions has not only served as the archive of a culture, but also fundamentally shaped ideas of form, meter and rhyme.

The telling of stories through artists’ words, voices and writings – may they be personal memories, collective rituals, sidelined histories – permeates Those Winged Words, a staging in Fondazione Giuliani that will take shape and morph over two evenings in November 2021. The staging will focus both on the quotidian and the commonplace, the telling of the everyday as a narrative of the extraordinary, but also on the inexplicable, the deeply mysterious and the magical, as if they were two sides of the same coin. The spaces of the Foundation will be transformed into a stage with live performances, artists’ readings, video projections, in situ interventions by artists whose work is inspired by a deep interest in the process of reading and writing, and often draws on irony, playfulness, chance, symbolism and self-narration. In this way, viewers will encounter a poetic interpretation of a specific subject that will bring them closer to their own felt experience and that will also demonstrate the elasticity of language, whether it circulates as text, image or speech. The resulting assonance will echo the deep connection between oral history and the bodies that report it.

The power of the unsaid and its sometimes alienating – but inevitably magnetic – dimension will be claimed through the stories, oral testimonies, and artworks of the participating artists. The duality between tangibility and immateriality, the oscillation between intimate transparency and enigmatic opacity, will thus be the fulcrum of these two evenings in November, in which each encounter will not only delineate a rhythm, but also constellate inside the rooms of the Foundation to create a web of narratives.