Expanded from a lecture delivered in Torino:
IL GENIO DRAMMATURGICO ORACOLARE
The genius of oracular dramaturgy
14 luglio 2017 – Cavallerizza – Torino. Conferenza a cura di Enrique Pardo: In occasione di una visita al Museo Egizio, il maestro propone una meditasione sull’invenzione della religione in Egitto, madre di tutte le finzioni. Si ringrazia la Cavallerizza I-REALE occupata per l’ospitalità.
The town of Torino has the surprising reputation of being one of the Europe’s capitals of magic. This is due especially to its Egyptian Museum, product of the fascination with Egypt in the 19th century after Napoleon’s expeditions, which were Masonic-driven enterprises to a large extent, seeking for the source and prestige of Egyptian esoteric magic. Bernardino Drovetti, a highly colorful and animoso (fiery) character joined Napoleon’s Egyptian party, to then remain in place as French proconsul and thus obtain all the permits needed to organize archeological digs, send them back to
Italy (he was from Torino…) – or sell them all over Europe. Later, in the 1890s, Sr. Ernesto Schiaparelli an archeologist of high repute, senator to the monarchy, expanded the Torino museum with his own extraordinary discoveries (he found Nefertiti!): he was particularly lucky to stumble upon the village of the artisans who built the palaces and temples of the Valley of Kings, and Queens. These sites were intact, preserved under desert sand. The atmosphere in Turin when the cases arrived and were opened was, well, “magic”.
Here are some reflections on the occasion of the visit to the Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino, organized by Piccola Compagnia della Magnolia who invited Linda Wise and me to direct a professional theatre course as part of their project Alta Formazzione MAESTRALE 2017. First class hosts and first class participants (the organizers’ choice.) Our project addressed Divinatory Theatre – and more precisely Il genio dramaturgico oracolare (The genius of oracular dramaturgy). I am a great believer, especially in laboratory contexts, in the maxim that says: “If you write “devil” on the wall, the devil will appear”. We wrote “Egypt”.