APOCALYPSE

The performance was inspired by a recording of the last interview with Pier Paolo Pasolini and the work of the journalist Oriana Fallaci. Pasolini and Fallaci met in New York in mid. 1960s. The director was then known as the author of “Mamma Roma” and “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”. In Europe he was considered a controversial proponent of Neorealism, yet he was still to be called the great iconoclast. At the time, Fallaci was making interviews with Hollywood stars and she had just published a novel about love affairs and professional struggles of a young journalist, titled “Penelope at War”. It was only in 1967, as a correspondent of “L’Europeo”, when she went to Vietnam and changed into a Penelope at the real war. The supporters of her very pompous “J’accuse” (“I accuse”) called her Cassandra. The third authentic figure that inspired Michał Borczuch is Kevin Carter, a photographer, an author of a photograph from Sudan, which shows a starved girl and a fat vulture standing right next to her. For this work he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, yet it also led to his nervous breakdown and suicide.

Pier Paolo Pasolini gives his final interview and several hours later he is dead. His massacred body from a beach in Ostia becomes a grimy prognosis for Europe. The next day Oriana Fallaci writes a letter to him, revealing the secrets of their ambivalent friendship. There is a stranger at Italy’s doorstep, waiting to join the proletarian masses…

The foundations of the performance lie in two radically distinct yet contradictory discourses about the Western civilisation and its phantasmatic Other – embodied in the figure of a Muslim, terrorist, illegal immigrant. Tortured by their personal obsessions, fears, desires, and melancholy, these exceptional yet also captious people formulate a diagnosis of culture and society in which they live. And die.

The factual background constitutes here merely a starting point for the contemporary renditions of haunting creatures, thus gaining the weight of a self-realising prophecy. All three protagonists are seen in the final moments of their lives. Fallaci in 2005 is an icon of Italian political journalism: dying of cancer, rejected by her fans after the publication of “Anger and Pride”, yet still powerfully sinking her nails into the flesh of life. A slowly perishing political animal – the last political animal of this sort in Europe. All the protagonists have been captured in a catastrophic condition. Pasolini seems to discern catastrophe in the anarchism of power and unification of social life, Fallaci, on the other hand, sees it in the Other. Carter is in-between: as a medium for the problem of exploitation of sympathy in the media and the apparent innocence of regarding the pain of others.