PERFORMANCE PICK OF THE WEEK
The Futurist Sintesi
Produced and Directed by Joe De Marco and Picasso Gaglione
Performance has a motley background, but the first true self-proclaimed visual-dramatic-musical (-and whatever else fits) hybrids -- the first artists' performances, no questions asked -- were the Sintesi ('Syntheses') concoted by the iconoclastic culture-guerrillas of Italian Futurism. The Futurists wanted to blow away the oppression of the past in all forms of artistic expression. To Futurist eyes, fin de siécle Italian drama suffered from the same over blown late-romantic fatuousness and sentimentality that burdoned the other arts, and perhaps moreso; only a frontal attact, combining arch satire, broad burlesque and rude contradiction with clarity, brevity and dynamic kinesis, was an appropriate response. Thus emerged the Sintesi -- brief, intense, unlikely (or all too likely, all too banal) interactions of people or objects. Some Sintesi are florid love scenes set on their heads; others are virtually instantaneous events of the kind glimpsed through an apartment window; still others are abstraction of form, movement and sensation. We're talkin' Virtual Surreality avant la lettre here, a concise but open-ended text-action art form that lends itself nicely to reinterpretation from many angles. Balancing Modernist Sparenes, post-Modern elaboration and neo-Modern technology, Joe De Marco's Italian Futurist Theater Group -- a local bunch, its roster enhanced by actors, artists and enthusiasts from the Bay Area, New York and Europe -- mounts droll, visually stimulating versions (in Victoria Ness Kirby's translation) that find remarkable complexity of texture and poetic gesture in the supposedly simple (some would say simplistic) Sintesi. Purists may find some of these stagings a bit soft-edged, but all pack a punch, or at least a nagging tickle. They somehow confound and satisfy expectations at the same time. At the Gallery Theater, Barnsdall Art Park.
L.A. Weekly, Pick of the Week, February 21-February 27, 1992
The Futurist Sintesi