After Non-Aligned Modernity, dedicated to the art of Eastern Europe, and The White Hunter, which looked at contemporary African art, FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea looks at the Far East. In The Szechwan Tale, China is revealed in an itinerary including paintings, photos, installations, videos and documentaries, with works on loan from prestigious collections from around the world. More than 30 Chinese and international artists, with names the likes of Chen Zhen, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Piero Gilardi, Qiu Zhijie and Joan Jonas, looking at the relations between East and West through the lens of the theatre, the through-line of the entire exhibition. The elements of theatre - the public, the curtain, actors, puppets, costumes, sets, texts, music - make up an eloquent metaphor, capable of depicting a wide range of historic and social phenomenon. With mechanicals, masks and shadow-play, cultural cross-currents come to the fore: starting with the title of the exhibition, inspired by the The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht, all the way to Mei Lafang (1894-1961), an important actor in the modern Chinese theatre, who had a profound influence on the Russian and German avant-garde. Not to mention, the references to opera, filled with references to the Orient.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano