CATHARINA OF SIENA re-edition 2022

A succession of twelve arduous sanctifying practices. Penitent lamb, you take a breath, saliva, ointment of Jesus in the full fulfillment of the scourge. Nourished only by the host and blood, he asks in a high-pitched voice to belong to the world of excess and to return to the extraworld of his infantile nature.

Staging project of the works of Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, through four re-edition creations: Catherine Of Siena, Lenz since Georg Büchner, Shakespears Geist, The soldiers. Inspirational figure in 1985 of the birth of the artistic formation Lenz Rifrazioni (Foundation today) is a German playwright who lived at the end of the eighteenth century, theologian and man of letters who died insane in Moscow at the age of only forty. Jakob Lenz expresses a strongly anti-rhetorical vision of the crisis of Western man, anticipating the great themes of the twentieth century with a pre-Marxist sensibility: l'antimilitarismo, social injustice, violence against women, the criticism of patriarchy and the dominant male power.

Already set up by the ensemble in three different versions in 1987, In the 2000 It is in the 2004, it is an unfinished drama that remains significant in the artistic career of Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto, because in the adolescent fury of the first apparitions, in the suffering of youthful visions, in the mystical ecstasy of maturity the poetic ages of Lenz Fondazione are reflected in an authentic portrait.

In the version 2022 the protagonist always remains Sandra Soncini – 'extreme interpreter’ of the work -, accompanied by the performers Carlotta Spaggiari and Tiziana Cappella, while the sound design by Andrea Azzali reworks the music of the previous version created together with Adriano Engelbrecht. In the mystical theater of Lenzia the reference to the Saint of Siena is purely imaginary: from the initial tragedy of a painter, CATHARINA VON SIENA becomes the struggle of a saint who fights temptations with penance and the injustices of the world with prayer. The new version artistically translates the intensity of Saint Catherine's spiritual practice, transforming it into a mystical reverberation of the liberation and affirmation of the contemporary body, undisciplined, different, irregular and marginal.

In dramaturgical invention, Caterina sinks into a distorted biographical landscape, where, together with some figures taken from the saint's hagiography, other unexpected ones appear, such as that of Correggio, lived centuries later, in an exhilarating mix of literary inaccuracies and historical misunderstandings typical of German Romanticism and Lenz's imaginative writing.

In the installation composed of ten washbasins in columns in which the chromatic verb of the face of Jesus flows, the time of mystical action is sculpted: Catherine is the phenomenon of God, the traces of his presence are engraved in it. Holy action and divine contemplation are accomplished in twelve trials, each of which reveals the matter and space of the epiphany. The work is a succession of arduous sanctifying practices that lead Catherine to bliss. The celestial bride, penitent lamb, you take a breath, saliva, ointment of Jesus in the full fulfillment of the scourge.

Catherine's body, nourished only by the host and blood, he asks in a high-pitched voice to belong to the world of excess and to return to the extraworld of his infantile nature. Blessed because without food, blessed because quenched by his own spit, blessed because dirty and without dignity. Caterina drowns in the kingdom of youth with livid and swollen veins, of queens with protruding bones, of the schoolgirls of eternal regurgitation. Little Caterina wants to die. He wants to die in the theater. And the theater must die in Caterina, becoming cold itself, silent and rigid. His Resurrection is in the truth of the body, without identity, without will, without necessity, free to be God's red strawberry.


Introductory notes by Francesco Pititto. Maggio 2022.

Already in our first version of Catharina von Siena's 1987 the scenic space contained images. They were live filmed sequences of “Café Müller” by Pina Bausch, visual representation of the choreographic Passion of dance and theater which opened a new perspective of language and artistic research. Caterina's irreducible holiness and Pina's irreducible creative ethics.

Then, In the 2003 for the first version of “Life is a dream” by Calderón de la Barca the pictorial image, in particular the “Pietà” by Antonello da Messina – Christ in mercy and an angel – taken at the Prado, it imposed itself as a determining aesthetic/ecstatic element of dramaturgy. A transfiguration into a female body became the refraction of the painting, composed from life and then reconverted into an image. At that time I invented the neologism “imagoturgy”, the image was living writing, as much as the actor's body on stage.

Antonello's Pietà and the Theater Pietà, beauty and hardness, humanity and animality of the senses, of reason and unreason.

The figure of Christ, his face-body and the angel would have assisted us in different ages of creativity and poetic research. _an angel has to go, who pulls up the bellows.
Angel and doll: then finally it's acting.

an angel comes to put the puppets upright.
Angel and puppet: now it's the theater.
Rainer Maria Rilke, there “The Fourth Elegy”.

In this remise en act of Catharina by J.M.R.Lenz the face of Christ returns, like the young Christ in the Temple and the Face of Christ by Correggio, to penetrate the face/head of Santa Caterina relic. What remains of its material and mortal shell.

A beyond death to reunite with the Beloved, finally out of the physical body and from miserable human temptations. The liquid of suffering is poured onto the image lying on the ground, the colored fluids of disease and pain of the flesh, so similar to the chromaticism of the paintings. Almost as if to fill the veiled and fake color of the shape of light with real matter, like the sum of electromagnetic waves that, reached the brain sensors, they determine its vision and its end.

Finally the strawberry, the fake fruit that contains the real fruit which are the small yellow seeds which are the achenes, the strawberry, the only one to penetrate the seed and show it to the outside, expose it without shame, all immersed in the blood red of its color. All immersed in the fleshy body, voluptuous and protective of a strawberry as big as the Universe.

Catherine of Siena
Di Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz

Rewrite, imagoturgy Francesco Pititto
Composition, installation, wrappers Maria Federica Masters
Musica Andrew Azzali, Adrian Engelbrecht
Interpreter Sandra Soncini
Perfomer Carlotta Spaggiari, Tiziana Chapel
Technical care Alice Scartapacchio, Giulia Mangini
Project care Elena Sorbi
Organization Ilaria Stocchi
Press office, communication Elisa Barbieri
Diffusion, promotion Alessandro Conti
Production Lenz Foundation

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