LA VITA È SOGNO (Life is dream)

Four-year Project 2018-2021
Triptych on the works of Calderón de la Barca

Il Passato Imminente is a three-year project of site-specific performative, choreographic, visual and sound installations created in the monumental spaces of the Pilotta Complex in Parma conceived and directed by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto in collaboration with the musician Claudio Rocchetti.

The project consists in the contemporary installation of three works by Pedro Calderón de La Barca: the autos sacramentales Il Grande Teatro del Mondo (2018) and La vida es sueño (2019) modern translation of religious festivals of the Spanish seventeenth century and in 2020 the commissioning scene from La Vita è Sogno, the key work of the western theater set up in the entire Pilotta complex.

The first part of the three-year project was carried out between the large rooms of the neoclassical gallery and in the Farnese theater; over twenty artists, including performers from the Lenz ensemble and the harpsichordists of the Arrigo Boito Conservatory of Parma, have given substance to the scenic rewriting of the visions of the Great Theater of the World.

The second chapter was set up in the new north wing of the National Gallery, where the precious Baroque collection is kept. An imposing installation of hospital beds dialogue with the functional structures designed by the architect Canali in the seventies and the sacred representations of Lanfranco, Schedoni, Spada, Ribera, Murillo, van Dyck.

The site-specific installation and staging of the masterpiece of the Baroque theater will involve the spaces of the Cortile del Guazzatoio, the Scala dei Cavalli, the Farnese Theater, the Palatine Library and the Bodoni Museum at various times and artistic methods.

by Maria Federica Maestri

From baroque to rococo of relative time
Rocaille – whim
Inspirational architecture: the transparent
Wall: continuous ornate surface
Rhetorical Trend of Baroque Rhetoric: game of fleeting and falling elements, the
A showcase in which the Most Holy Sacrament can be exposed and venerated both by the choir and the ambulatory of the church.
Chapel without walls made of light
The scenario is illuminated from above


With tight garrule chains I placed metallic lines in the bed of baroque echo life. Yes, because the life of the dream does not cover with deep spiral sleep, it does not cradle with warm volume dolls, but cuts the way to the wake with linear customs, with payment of duties trunks, with shoals and rigid bars of passages at night.

And from here the sharp, hard line of sleep rises chained to its shreds of dreams, without fluid thresholds, without the median lights of sunset and dawn, without the caresses of long-haired mothers. The child, orphaned by a mother’s skin smelling of milk, does not feel the soft hood of the belly ball when he wakes up, because his only companion is the aligned tower built by his father.

Theatre of life without a parent, impossible to resist without his dream body.

The bony little prince snatched from the bowels of the glowing plasma knows only the flight in winged lines of birds, the sharp and cursed right passage of astral orbits, the blind traces of the constellations of loving darkness.

But life is broken from life and becomes a wonder of dreams in unknown life of flesh, dream of animal, dream of sex, dream of battle, dream of glory, dream of dreams.

In the pillow of the bodies of males and females, without distinction of pleasure, the line of life is welded in momentary fusion with the dreamed imago and in duplicate and tripled will of the other life.

At what point does the tube of linear destiny reveal itself in its cavities of desire, when the tower reveals the hollow ox of its sex? In the instant the jouissance is shaded and in the instant the fear of the end is illuminated. Without chains, ringed embraces, the tubes are only lines broken by the vacuum of life.

from Calderón de la Barca

Translation, dramaturgy, imagoturgy | Francesco Pititto
Installation, plastic elements, direction | Maria Federica Maestri
Music | Claudio Rocchetti
Interpreters | Ensemble Lenz Foundation
Care | Elena Sorbi
Organization | Loredana Scianna, Ilaria Stocchi
Communication and promotion | Michele Pascarella
Technical care | Alice Scartapacchio
Video Media | Doruntina Film
Production | Lenz Foundation

Project for Parma 2020+21 Italian Capital of Culture
in collaboration with the Monumental Complex of the Pilotta