In Otranto the tribute to Carmelo Bene, in the new work by Rä di Martino

Through a path of study and reworking of the Carmelo Bene Archive, Rä di Martino has created a video installation, on display from 2 September until 2 November in the Torre Matta of Otrantoa place chosen as a refuge by Carmelo Bene for many years.

The exhibition – curated by Luigi De Luca And Brizia Minerva – is promoted by the biblio-museum complex of Lecce, by the Municipality of Otranto and by the Teatro Pubblico Pugliese, in close dialogue with Salomè Bene and Raffaella Baracchi – and is part of the itinerary Twenty years without goodwhich the Polo promotes on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the director’s death.

Kept in the Palmieri boarding school in Lecce, the Carmelo Bene Archive, collects over six thousand volumes from the Maestro’s personal library, and together with manuscripts, recordings, photographs, theatrical costumes, props and furnishings of the enigmatic actor, playwright and director. Forty years of career collected with “exceptional archival passion” by the author who kept everything: scene sheets, reviews, recordings, audio and video of shows and rehearsals. Photographs, vinyls, films, diaries too.

Rä di Martino. Where he dies, he sings. Photo Raffaele Puce

During the research on the archive, Di Martino selected two journals of notes entitled The vampire, with notes for a play about Dracula, “a musical work that Bene never did”. Starting from the reworking of some photographs, video and audio proofs, agendas with scattered passages and post-its and signatures of his own hand, Di Martino has elaborated an image that shows the features of Carmelo Bene and his voice, to which he is inspired that of the actor Lino Musella. In this remediation of the sources, the actor appears to us from elsewhere to read some passages present in two of his agendas in which thoughts, suggestions and notes related to the character of the Vampire, the dead-undead, are traced. Not a new work for Rä di Martino, an artist who “loves to investigate the images of cinema and television, scouring archives and orchestrating a narrative that is both artistic and analytical”.

Rä di Martino. Where he dies, he sings. Photo Raffaele Puce

More than a simple homage to Bene’s genius, therefore, but rather “an ideal rewriting of his work”, as the curators declare. “Di Martino was able to put her back into play to investigate through her own research what remained unexpressed in her theater”.

The twenty-year program does not end here, but continues, periodically involving a contemporary artist to continue to trace ever new lines of investigation, reinventing the Archive through unprecedented practices.

For the entire duration of the exhibition, a photographic series by the artist, inspired by the photographic materials of the Archive, is exhibited in the Carmelo Bene Fund in Lecce.

The exhibition is accompanied by an artist’s book published by the Humboldt publishing house.

Rä di Martino. Where she dies, sing
curated by Luigi De Luca and Brizia Minerva
September 2 – November 2
Torre Matta of Otranto

In Otranto the tribute to Carmelo Bene, in the new work by Rä di Martino