1 October 2022

Vanessa Beecroft at Cinecittà

Vanessa Beecroft to create a site-specific performance at Cinecittà

Vanessa Beecroft, one of the most famous protagonists of contemporary international art, has accepted the invitation of President Chiara Sbarigia to create a new exclusive site-specific performance at Cinecittà that sees the women of Rome as protagonists.
The appointment, scheduled for October 1st from 6 to 9 pm at Teatro 5, is part of Cinecittà’s new cultural project, which aims to enhance its heritage, spaces, and activities, to make them more and more an artistic forge active in many directions. Sbarigia explains, “I realized that the heritage of the Luce Archive, the core of Cinecittà’s cultural system, with its hundreds of thousands of photographs and films, needed to be enriched with new acquisitions, in particular with the topics of “current events” and above all of the “female gaze,” totally absent until now. Starting from this principle, I thought of inviting an artist of international caliber like Vanessa Beecroft to realize the project. Although Vanessa’s interventions had mainly occurred in museums or deconsecrated churches, we asked her to create a site-specific tableau vivant at Cinecittà: the culmination of my “female topic” because Vanessa has always worked artistically on the women’s body theme.
I am also happy that the VB93 performance falls close to Caravaggio’s birth date because an ancient heart beats in the very original art of Vanessa. The deep roots of the tableaux vivants lie in the “staging”, which Caravaggio assigned great importance to, as proven by the many biographical testimonies on the attention he devoted to the choice and arrangement of his models, since what thrilled him most was framing the scene through lighting.”
Entitled VB93, Vanessa Beecroft’s performance offers a reflection on the construction of the artist’s performances, crossing her entire production, from 1993 to 2021, in search of a socio-political answer to the themes of femininity and feminism. In homage to the world of cinema that hosts the event, the first VB93 Performance subject is Jeanne Moreau from Michelangelo Antonioni’s “The Night,” chosen as the emblem of a generation of women who lived their lives in silence without freedom of speech.
The performance in Cinecittà Teatro 5, Federico Fellini’s favorite, takes place in a space beyond Rome’s specificity: an ideal, abstract, and metaphysical place, like that of a film production. The process of creating the performance, which has never been filmed before, shall be documented in all its aspects in the form of a film, particularly in relation to its protagonists: the women of Roman neighborhoods interviewed by Vanessa Beecroft during the casting for the performance. Women who live in the suburbs but also in the most central districts of the capital. The aim is to narrate through the experience of this event everything that Beecroft’s performances have wanted to represent over the years on the themes of female psychology, beauty, violence, and the relationship with the body.
As Beecroft explains, “The performance will take place in Federico Fellini’s historic studio in a single act lasting three hours. It will comprise around 300 female performers on stage for the whole time. Changes in lighting will suggest a progression in time, from late night to mid-afternoon. This progression takes place in three distinct moments but in a continuous flow. A live soundtrack will be performed during the three moments, reflecting the performance’s psycho-spatial situation. Other times, though, the soundtrack will drift away and take on a life of its own.
The VB93 performance and its conception and realization process will become a documentary directed and produced by Vanessa Beecroft, while some of the images will be acquired by the Luce Archive and also be part of MIAC, the Film and Audiovisual Museum of Cinecittà.

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