NOBILITY OF SPIRIT
Performances, within which the raised curtains open up creative potentials like those created on this rock, are events of such importance that one might indeed be inclined to start believing that our life may after all have a deeper meaning. (M. Krleža, On the Edge of Reason, Intermezzo in the Sistine)
Every great piece of work, every canonical art work – symphony, novel, philosophical essay, sculpture, artistic painting or fresco has its particularities, and behind the entire work of Michelangelo there is an exceptional, even a mysterious biography of a man who changed the view on sculpture and painting, even architecture. Beside this, behind the novel of Miroslav Krleža and his Michelangelo Buonarroti (and his Legends) we can recognise a powerful beginning of the writer’s exceptional worldview, later on even more strongly defined in the novel On the Edge of Reason (Intermezzo in the Sistine).
By deconstructing Michelangelo’s fresco The Last Judgement we follow the decay and decomposition of a work that is engraved in the code of human recollections in the context of damnation that is preordained for mankind. The fresco painted after Copernicus’s heliocentric system with Christ as the central figure on the Last Judgement that divides people into the just and the damned, now overflows and loses its shape, composition and colour, just to flow over into a blackness from which a new Metropolis of the Last Judgement is created.
A look at the walls of the Sistine Chapel, through which you can walk in a virtual tour on the Vatican website, or the experience when you enter the gallery Accademia in Florence and see the grandiose five-metre tall statue of David (1504) or the benevolent Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (the only statue with Michelangelo’s signature) – clearly show that Michelangelo painted and sculpted his own concept, his idea, his truth and especially his love – the latter undoubtedly, as Julia Kristeva claims (Tales of Love) – between two lines: narcissism and idealisation. His entire life can be described with two words: agony and ecstasy (Stone, biography, 1965). But what best distinguishes him is the nobility of the spirit and he can definitely be placed among the great men of this idea (after Thomas Mann – Rob Riemen) – because he encompasses the realisation of true freedom, human dignity and his only goal is the maintenance of sublime beauty and truth.
Michelangelo’s perpetual struggle was actually taking place between painting and sculpting for which he claimed to be the only form of true art. But there were other struggles that are revealed in the performance created after the motives of Krleža’s drama through the character of the artist, genius, accentuating his dramatic and passionate creative power, the freeing through art, his fears and wounds. By creating his intimate fresco, Michelangelo transfer from «this» into «that» world, from hell into heaven, from awareness into dreams, from perfect peace into chaos, from the conscious into the super-conscious, from the finiteness of life into infinity – into a matrix of art. The disclosure of an inner process of creation opens a view into the circulation of thoughts, into a reconsideration of the picture of the world and a reflection of outer noises, sounds that disturb the natural creative flow. What does the painter look at and what does he see? What does he listen to, what does he feel? A review of his non-existent work, landscapes that he has not yet painted, music for which scores do not exist yet? Which are the scenes that constantly keep moving and changing their shape? How to realise the pathway to the stars? Who throws sand in the eyes today? Who sees the world?
It is all «on the edge of reason»:
For five hundred years this church has been standing in this exact place as it is now and for five hundred years it did not say a word to anyone. What can anyone say about this time that is convinced of a pushy and victorious power of a football? Today the brain is being sold, both to the left and to the right, it is more a question of professional profit, fashion, success, but if one paints with a stingy knife, or wishes to take down his bloody skin or plunge with his fingers deep into himself, into the gut, the loins, into the secrets or the flesh, if he wishes to discover himself, he is here, dark and distant and no-one knows what to do with him. Such a man has no need to believe in catechism; to look at the world through regulations, when such a man sees the world. (M. Krleža, On the Edge of Reason, Intermezzo in the Sistine)
" I live in hell and paint its pictures."
Five-hundred hundred years after Michelangelo - Il Divino has finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting, this cornerstone work of High Renaissance art with nine scenes from the Book of Genesis and the large fresco The Last Judgement on the sanctuary wall, theater director Tomaz Pandur in his upcoming project deals with introspection of the artist, sculptor, poet, architect and painter, his journey into the matrix of unconsciousness, following the shadows of his vision. Based on the play by famous croatian writer Miroslav Krleža from 1919, Tomaz Pandur directs a stage poem of his tormented personality that embodies the interior conflicts, paradoxes, and problems of the High Renaissance. A poem about stretched limits of the Classical form to their extreme, and evolving art in new directions. A stage poem about dramatic reinterpretation of Michelangelo's High Renaissance ideals, a renewed interest in science and technology, and a conflicted, multi-layered emphasis on human emotion and passion. Pandur is creating a Theater of El gran Teatro de Michelangelo Buonaroti, father and master of all the arts, theater of a man whose name has become synonymous with the word "masterpiece. A theater of an unmatched artist, the creator of works of sublime beauty that express the full breadth of the human condition. A theater of a man who painted with his brains and not with his hands. The theater, according to Arteaud, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything -- gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness -- rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.