24 septembre 2019

Artiste en Residence

Michaela Di Cesare

Centaur est fier d’annoncer que Michaela Di Cesare sera l’artiste en résidence cette saison et qu’elle travaillera sur un projet très personnel relatant la vie de Michelina Di Cesare, pour une pièce portant le titre de travail de Terroni: A “Spaghetti” Western. La brigantessa (brigande), originaire de la même petite ville du sud de l’Italie que le père de Michaela, a combattu aux côtés du chef de sa troupe de résistance contre le nord de l’Italie lors de l’unification de 1861. La pièce explorera cette période tumultueuse de l’histoire de l’Italie et la femme complexe que certains considéraient comme  monstrueuse et d’autre comme un héroïne.

Michelina’s story is personal for me. I have been called brave and courageous because of my work. I have also been called bad, disobedient, heartless. My work has come at great personal expense. I identify as an activist and as a feminist, yet my cause and my deeds seem small in comparison to this woman who lived over 150 years ago. She has me re-examining contemporary feminism and our limitations. Michelina was willing to give her life to a cause. What are we willing to fight for today? What are we willing to die for? Am I hiding behind my privilege? Do I have too much to lose?

I plan to explore these themes through the genre of a Western, specifically a « Spaghetti Western ». The genre is emblematic of a certain time in Italian film history, Sergio Leone being a notable example. The films churned out during this Golden Age of Italian cinema were highly problematic and exploitative on many levels. I plan to revisit their aesthetic while revising their content. I want Michelina Di Cesare and the other female brigands to replace Clint Eastwood and his cowboy entourage.

-Michaela Di Cesare
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