Carmelo Bene was born in Campi Saletina, Italy in 1937. He began his career as a stage actor, and soon formed his own theater company; his adaptation of Camus’s Caligula put him in the avant-garde limelight as early as 1959. Bene directed and took on leading roles in his own performance pieces, from which he developed a theory of theater inspired by Antonin Artaud. Bene’s work opposes classical text-based theater, and his theories generally revolve around the necessity of recreating texts in performance with the actor-as-subject or actorial machine. He considered his work to be about a “constant becoming” in a perpetual state of incompletion. Bene believed that to merely repeat the written lines of famous playwrights was to murder theater. His art, therefore, is an art of repetition through extreme variation. By experimenting with classical dramatic texts, Bene became known as a notorious destroyer of texts. Outside the theater, he was a prolific writer, critic, radio performer, television actor, and filmmaker. In 1968, his controversial Nostra Signora dei Turchi (Our Lady of the Turks), which he adapted from his own 1965 novel of the same title, brought him acclaim as an avant-garde filmmaker. Bene interacted and collaborated with some of the most perceptive minds of the latter half of the twentieth century, such as Gilles Deleuze and Pier Paolo Pasolini, and found inspiration in contemporary thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, and Jacques Lacan, who largely influenced his critical and creative work. Many of his works, including his complete theatrical works, have been translated into French by Jean-Paul Manganaro. Bene died in Rome in 2002.
Nostra signora dei Turchi
Piergiorgio Giacchè (Perugia, 1946) professore associato presso il Dipartimento Uomo & Territorio dell’Università degli studi di Perugia, insegna Antropologia del teatro e dello spettacolo e Fondamenti di Antropologia alla Facoltà di Lettere e filosofia della stessa università e Antropologia culturale alla Facoltà di Scienze della formazione alla L.U.M.S.A. di Roma. Ha condotto ricerche sulla devianza e sulla solitudine, sulla condizione giovanile e la partecipazione politica, prima di approdare al tema del rapporto tra Antropologia culturale e Cultura teatrale che è da tempo al centro dei suoi interessi scientifici. E’ stato membro del comitato scientifico dell’International School of Theatre Anthropology (1981-1991) diretta da Eugenio Barba, si è occupato del fenomeno del “Teatro di gruppo” e della “Identità dello spettatore”. E’ stato il primo Presidente della Fondazione “L’Immemoriale di Carmelo Bene” (2002-2005).