Silvia Balestreri / Luís Fabiano Oliveira / Vandaceli Bressiani
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, BR
Stuttering Machine, War Machine, Actorial Machine Carmelo Bene
Day 2, 10 November, De Bijloke Auditorium, 09:30–10:00
In his Abécédaire—Gilles Deleuze from A to Z—in “C for Culture,” Deleuze states that he does not like theatre, with two extreme exceptions: Bob Wilson and Carmelo Bene. It was through Deleuze’s text “Un Manifeste de moins” that we came to Carmelo Bene (1937–2002) and to the several lines of creation that cross(ed) the work of this Italian artist. According to the philosopher André Scala, Deleuze and Guattari probably thought of Carmelo Bene when they wrote the chapter in A Thousand Plateaus, “10,000 BC: The Geology of Morals (Who Does the Earth Think It Is?).” Therefore, Professor Challenger, the strange Conan Doyle character appropriated by Deleuze and Guattari in this plateau, the one who made the Earth scream with his vocal metamorphosis and his voice that had become hoarse, would be, according to Scala, suitable for the dislocations promoted by Bene in his theatre works. These dislocations impressed Deleuze and other scholars, journalists and audiences, and can be seen not only in the scenic elements but also in the variations from one work to another, in the approximations and appropriations of different texts, in the unstoppable production of lines of flight in his work, and in the public appearances of the “character” CB—in his relations with the state and parastate, with critics, and with the audience itself. Carmelo Bene’s theatrical creations became more extreme with time, until he got to the conception of what he called “actorial machine” or “actorial machine CB.” This work intends to approach the concept of actorial machine, approximating it to the concepts of “war machine” and “stuttering machine”—or machine of stutter—a term we prefer to “antilanguage machine,” which is the term journalist Maurizio Grande used in reference to Bene’s work. Our purpose is to investigate the meaning intended by Bene when he referred to actoriality (attorialità) as a machine. In this presentation we intend to bring to light some impressions of Bene’s way of acting and creating, on the basis of our observations of his work—through videos, movies, pictures—our contact with people that were close to the artist, and recent research conducted in his personal papers in Rome.
Silvia Balestreri is Professor at the Departamento de Arte Dramática and Programa de Pós-graduação em Artes Cênicas (Performing Arts Department and Performing Arts Post-Graduate Programme) at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), Porto Alegre, Brazil. From 1986 to 1992 she worked with Augusto Boal at the Center of Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro (CTO-Rio), of which she was co-founder. Between the years 1995 and 2005 she integrated the Psychology Institute faculty at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), where she developed her interdisciplinary research in theatre and psychology. She holds a PhD in psychology from the Subjectivity Studies Group at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, one of the most important academic groups of study and diffusion of the works of Deleuze and Guattari in Brazil. Today she coordinates the research project “Theater and Subjectivity Production: Micropolitical Exercises,” which focuses on the works of the Italian multiartist Carmelo Bene.
Vandaceli Bressiani is an actress at the Núcleo de Estudos e Experimentação da Linguagem Cênica—NEELIC (Group of Studies and Experiments in Staging), Porto Alegre, Brazil, and she is also a teacher at the NEELIC Theater School in the same city. She is taking her BA in theatre with emphasis on acting at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) and integrates as an undergraduate student (within the Scientific Initiation Program) the research project “Theater and Subjectivity Production: Micropolitical Exercises,” led by Prof. Silvia Balestreri, in which her role is to organise and systematise the material by Carmelo Bene obtained by the research group.
Luís Fabiano de Oliveira is a master’s degree student at the Programa de Pós-graduação em Artes Cênicas (Performing Arts Postgraduate Programme) at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), Porto Alegre, Brazil. He obtained a BA in theatre directing at the Departamento de Arte Dramática (Performing Arts Department) from the same university. He integrates the research project “Theater and Subjectivity Production: Micropolitical Exercises,” led by his advisor, Prof. Silvia Balestreri. His dissertation research is focused on Carmelo Bene’s Teatro Senza Spettacolo.