Panopticon – il teatro igienico

year 2021 duration 60'

“In light of the human, social and economic disaster that we have experienced in the last period, the negative effects on artistic events were not long in coming, soon we all realized that the world of the performing arts would also suffer heavy consequences. The task of art, when it succeeds, continues to be to identify some passages of current events before others, anticipating their “remedies”. The restrictions that theaters are undergoing in relation to the number of spectators who can follow the performances due to Covid-19 are creating many inconveniences. Panopticon, aims to reason and in some way overturn the perception of loneliness, control, protection of the individual.

The intention is to make the container, the space become the protagonist, at least as much as the content, the performer and the message of his gesture “. (Roberto Zappalà)

After months of closure due to the health emergency, the Panopticon project / the hygienic theater takes shape live from March 19 to April 17 at the Castello Ursino Civic Museum in co-organization with the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Catania.

Panopticon finally sees the light in one of the most fascinating and important places of the Sicilian city, thus proving to be a versatile and exportable project. A project that intertwines art, architecture and dance.

“Using a stage space or rather an installation that can contain different souls within it is the happy achievement of a wider idea of ​​mine – specifies Zappalà – which is based on what Baudelaire emphasized:” Glorifying the image even before the meaning”. In my opinion, there is nothing more contemporary than this “very simple” thought. The idea that the use of space, its aesthetics, combined with the aesthetics impressed by the performers can be the protagonist is what I have always wanted to achieve most dearly “. The desire to make the container become the protagonist at least as much as the content pushed Roberto Zappalà to entrust the choreographic creations to four dancers of his company: Filippo Domini, Adriano Popolo Rubbio, Fernando Roldan Ferrer, Joel Walsham.

Panopticon / the hygienic theater starts from the desire to replicate and emancipate the concept that we already carry out with the review of “nanoperformances”, active for 5 years at ScenarioFarm in Favara. It is a reflection that is not necessarily conceived as a function of Covid-19 but which takes its cue for a deeper analysis of the condition of the individual put to the test and always morbidly controlled.

Panoptes, a giant of Greek mythology, who had a hundred eyes and therefore considered a perfect guardian, gives its name to the ideal prison designed in 1791 by the philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham. «Our project, a polygon with a variable number of sides, made of iron and tulle, enhances the dimension of segregation / prison as well as social distancing / isolation as well as voyeurism.

In our regard, the observer does not control those around him as in the case of Bentham’s original project. It will be the spectators themselves who will control the performer, isolated both from him and from each other, thus also alluding to Umberto Eco’s “Anopticon” which, as the opposite of the Panopticon, removes responsibility for the supervisor by asking the question: who supervises the overseers?

Our goal aims to create a short circuit between supervisors and supervised but also wants to make the scenic architecture autonomous and protagonist “(Roberto Zappalà).