COOP ~ The Immemorial Body: Betraying Carmelo Bene in Nine Acts from Month to Month

Seminar 3: 13-17 January 2019

In this session in Cagliari, the discussion on the anal-oral nexus and autobiography as fiction is re-elaborated within the context of a ‘conceptual body’ as a somatic experience beyond individualization. How can performance direct somatic experiences beyond the singular individual and open the doors to something beyond subjectivity? Another important focus of this session is to familiarize ourselves with Cagliari and begin to discuss the presentations in June. How can a performative exhibition be articulated in time and space?

Arnisa Zeqo will be present during the session and extension day January 13 – 17. Barbara Casavecchia will join on January 16 and will give a lecture on January 15.

January 13

In the evening we join for a common screening and discussion with the colleagues from ‘Curating Positions’.

January 14

Burn all the diaries

We begin the session in the morning by going through the exercises on autobiography from the previous session. Short presentation are held in the format of group critique. During the following days the exercises are continued through a series of scores and instructions that will be revealed gradually (prepared ic.w Sara and Geo) involving a variety of somatic exercises. If for Carmelo Bene there was a thin line between consciousness, memory and fiction how can strategies of self-forgetting relate to performance?

In the afternoon we continue within this frame of mind by engaging with some psycogeographical exercises/scores in the city of Cagliari. Together with interact with the city and specific cultural and artistic sites in a way in which the supremacy of vision is challenged. Can we imagine a magical south?

In the evening we engage with make up as a strategy of fiction and performance. We discuss historical cases and invite to share some knowledge on make-up practice. How to playfully become someone else?

January 15

Personal Worlds or Cultural Strategies?

The morning begins by a reflection on how elements of autobiography and self performance open up paths towards cultural strategies and inter subjective somatic links. Arnisa shares parts of her ongoing research on ‘conceptual performances’ as a practice at the intersection between literature, performance art, conceptual art, social (dis) engagement and life. There will be close readings of the work of Ulises Carrion, Chiara Fumai, Moyra Davey, Anna Daucikova and Adrian Piper.

The second part of the day brings together ideas and discussions on the possible presentation in June 2019. A special attention is given to what a ‘performative exhibition’ might be as a form of presentation in relation to scores and actions.

In the evening special guest Barbara Casavecchia will give a lecture on the work of Sardenian artist Maria Lai, focusing specifically on her performances and the relationship between silence and speech. She also introduces Lai within the context of a group of female artists in Italy in the 60s and 70s. 

January 16

Taci, Anzi Parla

We spend the day together with Barbara Casavecchia. She prepares specific workshop on writing and inter subjective communication and the role of play within performance. During parts of her workshop we do one on one walks with Arnisa. In this day we might go to Ulassai for an excursion on the footsteps of Maria Lai.

In the evening we do a screening and discussion of Pinocchio.

January 17

Evil Spirits

During the last morning we reflect on the week and the characters we encountered. Together we seek propositions on how to continue with the exercises and the scores.




Seminar 2: 9-12 December 2018

The week gravitates around “autobiography as a rehearsal for fiction,” an idea suggested by José Esteban Munoz in the book Disidentifications. Please read extract prior to the session. We will send it per email and upload it to the Dropbox.

Sara, Arnisa and Geo will all be present on Dec 10 and 11.

December 9

On the evening of Dec 9 we join the screening of 'Chronicle of a Summer' by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin (90 min), organized by the Curating Positions COOP. Following the sociological/anthropological approach of the makers, the film is an example of cinema verité and deals with issues of performativity in front of a camera.

December 10

Morning: Discussion of the scores produced after the first DAI week in a group critique format. Each student has 10 minutes to present their score and 10 minutes for discussion. While preparing for your presentation try to focus on the visual and tactile elements of the score. 

3–4pm: Research presentation by Sara on the ecstatic and performativity in relation to Carmelo Bene’s concept of the open mouth. The talk delves into the reverberations of Sara’s deep dis/identification with CB as a child.

4pm–5pm: Exercises in language and embodiment

5–6pm: Introduction to the oral / anal nexus (reference to CB, Paul Preciado, Lou Andreas Salomé)

Evening: Nocturnal session in nature

December 11 

Morning: Individual exercise called ‘autobiography as rehearsal for fiction.’ During the making of the exercise Sara, Geo and Arnisa will be doing face-to-face meetings. (Schedule will be made at the beginning of the day) 

Afternoon: Presentation of the exercise

Evening: Continuation of Arnisa’s presentation on scores and printed matter as interface and ephemera of performances. Together we continue to do a close reading of selected scores.

December 12

Continuation of face to face

Wrap up and feedback


Seminar 1: 12-15 November 2018

For Nov 12 and 13, Geo will lead the students in looking at a clip from Bene’s Capricci and riff on the themes presented using the work of Divine David, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, and others.  

We will participate in a series of solo and group performance exercises focusing on the voice, language, and the scavenged self.

On Nov 14, students will have an opportunity to present their work to one another!  Please prepare something you would like to share with the rest of the class.

On Nov 15 Arnisa Zeqo shares with the students specific examples where scoring overlaps with photography and embodiment of language. The status of 'scores', 'partitura', 'notation', 'sequence', 'script'  is  problematised  within  practices from visual art and specifically performance art.  Scoring is looked at as a methodology of both testimony and a manual for future actions. How can photography  and printed matter function as an interface of performance and self performance? A special focus is given to what Carmelo Bene called 'de - scrittura scenica' a un- writing of scenes through the materialisation of language and typographical bodies.