Anna Utopia Giordano

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Talking about Thanateros

It was the beginning of 2009 and I had just published my poems on the magazine Montparnasse Cafè (La via dei poeti) when I received  a totally unexpected email from the artist and photographer Luca Catellani. He had read my rhapsodies in that magazine and he asked me to write some poems to match with his photographs for an upcoming art-project called Thanateros (online catalogue here).

Luca’s photographic world intrigued me immediately: it was dark, obscure, an esoteric and scratched dreamlike dimension. It was (and is) totally different from the standard Italian photography I knew… and not only his subjects but also his technical research was interesting.  At that time I was studying mythology, magic, religion and esotericism: a project like Thanateros was exactly what I was waiting to “throw out” all that I had stored in the brain!

The result is a series of exhibitions and poetry readings in Italian cafè and pubs (like La Buca di San Vincenzo, Vampyria, Palazzo Agostini, U-turn) in which I also starred in and wrote the theatrical performances held during the openings. I also invited to perform some of my art-playmates as (b)ananartista and Un Artista Minimalista.

The performances. An explanation is needed!

Luca introduced to me his friend Andrea Ropes. Andrea is really a kind and funny person, he is one of the most important Italian experts on shibari and he performs in national and international nightclubs and art galleries. I’ve only seen one Andrea’s live performance presented at the art gallery Famiglia Margini (Milan) and I was quite impressed. Recently I saw some Lady Gaga and Rihanna music videos and photosets full of references to this shibari/bondage world! By the way, in the far 2009/10, the  Thanateros experience has been my first and only meeting with shibari’s stuff.

Obviously my Thanateros approach is totally soft & quite: no nude, no extreme practice. I’m dressed from head to toe and Andrea and I both have an active recited role. The ropes symbolize, through the nodes, the fusion of the philosophical and psychological concepts Thanatos and Eros.
The screenplays are always different and I write them (with the advice of Andrea about the ties) according to the place in which we will perform: I have been a vampire, a 50’s diva, a goddess dressed in white. The performances are the fusion of art, drama, poetry, music, folklore and a very mild and purified shibari.

Thanateros has envolved the perception of my body and the relationship with myself, it made ​​me think a lot about the concept of “freedom” and “trust” and opened the door to new research topics.

I also would like to thank the historical tailoring Brancato Costumi (Milan) for the costumes used during the performance and Alessia Zaccarelli for the support!

Some photos from Thanateros: