Un rosone dorato in alto con all'interno un simbolo sacro a forma di triangolo. Sotto una videoproiezione circolare inquadra una figura umana che cavalca a braccia aperte un toro dorato. Tutto il resto è nero.


Old Testament Pentateuch

From the Fourth Book of the Old Testament
The Sacred Scriptures
Four-year drama and visual culture project 2021>2024

Lenz’s research into the sacred texts began with The Creation, a work inspired by Genesis and contemporary visions of the origin of matter and the Universe, of the infinitely small and the infinitely large fundamentals of life, known so far.

Through the language of theatre, the only art form to represent, in the image and likeness of man and woman, the complexity of living and life in front of other human beings, the current project focuses on the fourth book of the Pentateuch and the Bible, Numbers, ending with the Apocalypse and the Gnostic Apocalypses, reflections/actions on the unveiling and the possibility of the truth of things.

The title ‘Numberswas given to this book by the translators of the so-called Septuaginta Greek-language translation of the Hebrew Bible, written presumably between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC. -, for the two censuses described in the book: the first, two years after leaving Egypt, the second near the river Jordan, in the fortieth year. Like the rest of the Pentateuch, it was written by Moses himself.

The text describes the suffering, the disillusions, the revolts of the people of Israel wandering in the desert after their exodus from Egypt and the various trials they undergo to prove their fidelity, faith and adherence to the divine promises of a new land to inhabit.

The census records the generational change between the fugitives at the beginning of the exodus and those, although still on the run, predisposed by age and desire for permanence to war, necessary against other peoples in order to eventually conquer the promised land.

Prophetic quantity and water

Text by Francesco Pititto

There are several impressive images in the chapters: the cloud above God’s tent, the silver trumpets, the red heifer, the bronze serpent, the donkey, the consequences contained in the new laws. Images and situations that configure various affinities with our present, so precarious on principles, on respect for the earth, fearful of diversity and inclined more to close than to open up to the risk of the new.

The two pillars of the dramaturgy, however, address in particular the questio of quantity understood as the amount of individuals united by a prophetic missionbetween conquest and the promised landand that of water, an element vital to the attainment of divine and human purposes, the conscious and unconscious representation of this element.

For Jung, water was a metaphor for the unconscious. In the study of symbols related to depth psychology, water is given extreme importance: it is an element that is indispensable to life but does not nourish it, it is a fundamental symbol of all unconscious energy and is therefore also dangerous when it presents itself by overstepping its boundaries (psychosis).

The word majim, ‘water’, resounds over 580 times in the Old Testament, as the Greek equivalent hydor returns some 80 times in the New.

About 1. 500 verses of the Old Testament and more than 430 of the New Testament are ‘steepedin water, because in addition to the words mentioned, there is a veritable constellation of realities that revolve around this precious element, starting with the dangerous jam, the ‘sea’, or the more domestic Jordan, passing through the rains (with different Hebrew names, whether autumn, winter or spring), springs, rivers, streams, canals, wells, cisterns, heavenly reservoirs, the flood, the ocean and so on.

Not to mention verbs related to water such as drink, drink, thirst, quench thirst, pour, immerse (‘baptisein New Testament Greek), wash, purify. _ To the thirsty people, who murmur because of their lack of faith, God responds with the prodigy of the spring gushing forth from the rock.

Even the research into images generated by the writing of Lenz’s original textimagoturgyand vice versa, the verses regenerated by the images refer mainly to water, its lack, its power to determine the landscape, including the landscape of humans and non-humans. Then the quantity drained and shrunk into an individuality, into a solitary beingthe only biped in the picturein a reciprocity of contraries that create a void filled with presence, as if all humanity had imploded into that single living being.

The place lent to the image text, to visual dramaturgy, is a beach of the Po in dry weather, where heat and dryness delineate perspective shapes and air waves that move the contours.
Alone in that landscape dwells the Poet.

Lenz’s Numbers is only ideally related to the Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Old Testament. The numbering of beings, the census that lists and names bodies to be re-recognised, the wanderers in the desert as witnesses to the trial of pain and redemption are new material for reflection, after Genesis, a new focus on the meaning of contemporary theatre and the meaning of representation.

Noticing and reviving traces of the here

Text by Maria Federica Maestri
Reveal the remains of the sacred | Reinstall the memorial | Reverse the power station voltage

The painting-appearance occludes the vision of the space of the Eucharistic mystery and synthesises the transitory manifestation of the living natures of death. Electric shifting of the limit, disappearance of the horizon: chromatised reflection of tiny promised lands.

The skinny cradle, perforated shroud-cloud-tent of Moses together with the feminine envelope-bandage of Miriam the leprous sisterthe only biblical woman’s voice/bodyis a post-mortem vibration of the neoclassical and sentimental (of the 19th century fallen into silence and oblivion) funeral monument of Maria Luigia’s love dedication to her morganatic husband.

In the malnourishing banquet, the shell torn from the seabed, a homophilous lover forever separated from its other halflimestone and hardencloses, unique and broken, the liquid pearl for the baptism of the old diviner, neo-Tyriasis with withered tits of Eliotian memory.

EXPOSITION OF THE VAULTS The concavity of the gilded vaults mirrored in the gastropod shellsone in multiple, perpetual replicationcontains the contents of the one saving act performed by the concave fertilising hand of the Christian martyr’s fleshy valva (the church erected in 985 A.D. held the relics of St Felicola, the martyr saint who refused to marry and sacrifice to idols).

Deprived of its celebratory table, a desertification of the word-body and blood of Christ, the cultic space becomes an anti-sacrificial enclosure and a chamber for the adoration of the animal, a space for intoxication, for the reinvigoration of old Aaron, for the vindication of the physical over the metaphysical. The motionless calf dripping with fake gilding is the king of the fairground. Solid, vitrified memory of holocaust, sacrifice and pain is a hymn to joys with no otherworldly tomorrow. Idol of the withered member reaches out to the faithful and the unfaithful with the warm tongue of the dream. The skeletal awakening of his skull engulfs the return to my present.


Pentateuch Old Testament | From the Fourth Book of the Old Testament

Creation | Maria Federica Masters, Francesco Pititto
Dramaturgy, imagoturgy | Francesco Pititto
Composition, installation, shells | Maria Federica Masters
Original music | Andrew Azzali
Interpreter | Marcello Sambati
Performative action | Tiziana Chapel
Care | Elena Sorbi
Communication and press office | Elisa Barbieri
Organization | Ilaria Stocchi
Promotion | Alessandro Conti
Tecnical care| Alice Scartapacchio, Giulia Mangini, Tiziana Cappella Dino Todoverto, Linda Mahmoudi
Assistant | Giulia Mangini
Photographic documentation | Elisa Morabito
Production Lenz Fondazione_Festival Natura Dèi Teatri

Produced with the support and collaboration of:

MiC Ministero della Cultura, Maeci, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Comune di Parma, AUSL Parma DAI SM-DP Dipartimento Assistenziale Integrato di Salute Mentale Dipendenze Patologiche, Università degli Studi di Parma, Chiesi Farmaceutica, Fondazione Monteparma, Conservatorio di Musica A. Boito di Parma.

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