Jacopo Miliani - Deserto
16 Dec 2017

Centro De Residencias ArtIsticas

 Sabato 7 ottobre, 2017


Deserto by Jacopo Miliani reflects on the possibility of multiple identities through the invention of a new language. The desert, the place where both the film Teorema (1968) by Pier Paolo Pasolini and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) by Stephan Elliot end in screams of pain and pleasure - and perhaps rebirth - has been used by the artist as an ideal meeting place between the two protagonists: the Guest (a mysterious stranger) and Bernadette (a transgender) both played by the same actor, Terence Stamp. A macho actor and an iconic figure of the liberated 1960s, Stamp plays respectively an enigmatic stranger, both angelic and demonic, who seduces an entire bourgeois family, from peasant maid to paterfamilias, and the juicy role of a drag queen. In the work, a voice with the use of an invented manual communication conveys a sort of litany, while his perceptual state is animated by minimal and at the same time flamboyant images.

Filmed during his research residency, in Deserto Miliani has collaborated with several artists based in Madrid that work in different disciplines - a usual collaborative practice within the artist’s methodology. The video moves through several carefully managed elements and interpreters: a mysterious body, long red nails, a new sign language, a voice (Ángela de la Serna) a text (Jacopo Miliani, Pier Paolo Pasolini, CeCe Peniston), a dance-refrain (Antonio de Rosa, Mattia Russo//Kor'sia) and photography (Carlos Fernández-Pello).

The project reactivates the deviations of the film’s two protagonists to stimulate other movements in the spectator’s mind. Verbal and visual language interweaves with sensory and sensual lexicon in a dense frame of elements appealing to the spectator’s vast wealth of knowledge. By probing the imagination of the spectator, who can only freely interpret evoked associations of an identity suspended between the film’s dual references and abstract suggestions, Deserto offers a cinematic experience in which the spectator perceives a film and re-elaborates its perception into consciousness and competence. (VV)


I am an actor.
For all my life I have been an actor,
I will be an actor forever.
The desert is my place.
“I will arrive tomorrow
you can only rehearse for tomorrow, not for today!”

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

I am different and as a different person I unveil your mask:
the son’s mask,
the mother’s,
the daughter’s,
the father’s.

“Abandoned in this populated desert”, 
I don’t have any clothes, only equipment, scaffoldings and architectures towards the sky.
In this way I will be naturally naked.
More and more the desert is the only solution.

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

I arrived in this house to destroy, 
and I simply destroyed.
I destroyed my past life to take over the moment.

I slept with the son,
I slept with the mother,
I slept with the daughter,
I slept with the father.

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

The trousers, the bell, the bra, the wigs, the tie, the shorts, the dress, the necklace, the underwear, the socks and the eyelashes lie down on top of the other clothes… only the hands remain naked.

I am excited 
in playing these words.
I push out the voice and once again: ‘re-exit’.

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

“ You might have had a life already designated to the desert”,
for levitating in the air.

The one and only safe figure is the one that stands up ending upside-down. 
How is it possible to destroy the language of someone who doesn’t speak?

“The symbol of reality has something that reality doesn’t have,
it represents every meaning.
However it adds, for its own representative nature, a new meaning”.

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

I am considered a person because I speak your language,
but it is my diversity from you that makes me a person.

The mystery is showing that the same thing which makes you equal to another 
could suddenly reveal, through its opposite, an unstable thrill.

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

A slow contagion, slow but moving. 
A sound treads the room from side to side, remaining inside. 
There is no change, only uniqueness: the sandy shapes don’t oppose one another

They form a whole shape, and so this is always omnipresent”

However this is clear: everything that my scream wants to mean 
is designated to last more than every possible end.

“Finally it has happened to me 
right in front of my face 
and I just cannot hide it”.

“I have to go, tomorrow”.

Text by: Jacopo Miliani, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cece Peniston


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