The spectators go in and take their seats in the theatre. The house lights are dimmed and the stage, still empty, is lit by a warm light. An audio recording plays; the voice has a familiar timbre, its accent is not new to us; the words are from a speech on a hunger strike which is more or less known to us; they convey the lived experience of a body. This fascinating work by Nark Bkb, whose artistic research engages with sound and visual material, is a reflection on the unavoidable physicality of the spoken word, on the impossibility of separating the body from the mind. By listening to this excerpt from the historical archives of Radio Radicale, the audience is guided through a journey of discovery which moves from incomprehension to confusion, to revelation. This project, which was awarded a special mention by the International Prize for Performance in 2006, has never been more timely, twelve years since its premiere and one year since Marco Pannella’s death. It is a piéce that deals with the absence/presence of a body, with its constrained yet overflowing physicality, whilst also shedding light on political language and gesture.

 

Nark Bkb (Stefano Tolio, Bassano del Grappa, 1975) is a Milan-based artist whose research crosses visual and sound art. His investigations have often focused on marginal and unexpected traits of the everyday, using formats as varied as video, photography, sound and performance. He has exhibited his work at CSAV, the Artists Research Laboratory of the Fondazione Ratti, at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Monfalcone, at Galleria d’Arte Maggiore GAM in Bologna, at the Galleria Civica in Trento. With his sound project Giacinto Pannella, detto Marco, he has taken part in Centale di Fies’ International prize for performance (Drò, Trento) and in Uovo Performing Arts Festival (Milan). He has taught for the in-house school of the Beccaria juvenile detention facility in Milan. He currently works at the Ilaria Alpi institute in Milan.