“ The Perelà Code” by Aldo Palazzeschi

An airy and unconventional tale told by a cast of sightless people reading the text as a play. Their performance was prepared at the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Roma ( Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Rome) in a workshop focused on introducing the blind to the art o f painting. The aim was to improve, by means of literature, their knowledge of the Avant-Garde movements in the early 20th century while perfecting their Braille and elocution.
The applied method included a tactile approach to a number of statues from the end of I9th/early 20th century which allowed : an individual evaluation of distinctive formal art expressions and their historical and philosophical background; a comparison between 19th and 20th century styles; the verbal description and tactile “reading” of relief reproductions of Tato’s triptych Sensazioni di volo 1°,2°, 3° tempo (Feelings of flying first, second, third stage ), with reference to the Futurists’ Manifesto of Aeropittura (Airpainting). The final test consisted in a public “Reading” of extracts from” The Perelà Code” (Palazzeschi) and a workshop free composition of a painting with the use of materials and techniques inspired by Futurism.

                         

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“Love and Psyche” Apuleius’ “bella fabella” (beautiful fairytale)

 The performance was staged in October and November 2008 at the Mercati Traianei ( Trajan’s Markets). The event is part of a program of educational activities to promote and develop art and culture amongst the disabled – and in particular those with impaired or no vision – within the City of Rome Museums. The project stems from a joint venture among Sovraintendenza Comunale (Municipality Board), the “Museum”Volunteers non-profit Association and Zétema Progetto Cultura (Cultural Project). The amazing set of the event is the “Taberna” overlooking the Grande Aula dei Mercati (Great Hall) for a restricted public of maximum 20 people ( visually impaired or other). Videos on the theme of the performance and its relevance today are showed, while Braille texts are circulated among people with impaired sight.  

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BEATO ANGELICO: “ Painted prayer” Multidisciplinary and multisensorial touch tour for sightless visitors.

During the Beato Angelico exhibition at the Musei Capitolini (May/June 2009) the “Museum” Association and Zetema operators together studied a number of educational tours for sightless and visually impaired visitors aimed at improving their knowledge and perception of three figurative paintings on wood and of a miniature painting on parchment. After a short introduction of the artist and of the painting techniques on wood and parchment, the visitors are invited to proceed to an accurate tactile “reading” of relief drawings (obtained with the Fuser technique and /or by thermoforming) reproducing the chosen works at different stages of their realization. Iconography is then integrated with an interpretation based on the figurative, allegorical and symbolical meanings of the same images, dramatized by the performance of two actors reading short passages related to each of the works. A choice of musical pieces by Monteverdi and Bach, which the Istituto centrale dei Beni sonori ad audiovisivi di Roma ( Sound and Audiovisual Institute) helped in identifying for their power to convey the idea of light and of the atmosphere in Beato Angelico’s works; the evocative effect of the fragrance of lily, roses, incense, and also a constant dialogue with the operators stimulating analogies and synaesthetic perceptions, all concur in helping the visually impaired visitors to achieve a self reliant approach and to experience and enjoy the paintings in an autonomous manner. A workshop may follow, on demand, as a final test at the end of the tour, where it is possible to freely take part in the making of a clay work, or a drawing, or a tempera on wood having a religious subject.

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