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Piero Steinle

Nelle opere il riso è concepito come atto performativo, che viene seguito dalla fase della genesi fino allo scoppio della risata. I video mostrano l’iniziale tensione e concentrazione interna che si sfogano alla fine in un accesso di riso che spesso aumenta di intensità fino a sfociare nell’isteria assumendo tratti coattivi. Viene data visibilità a elementi estranei all’ordinamento sociale, animaleschi, estatici. Steinle potenzia l‘effetto di straniamento attraverso la proiezione contemporanea dei video su diversi schermi e la ripetizione continua dell’atto del ridere. Mette a punto uno scenario di grande effetto nel quale il riso viene portato alle sue forme estreme con un impatto inquietante sull’osservatore. Nasce uno scambio di sensazioni vitali, un equilibrio vibrante tra riso e angoscia che potenzia ulteriormente l’occultamento di un motivo scatenante. Che ciò funzioni e che l’osservatore ne resti affascinato è da attribuire alla messa in scena di grande valore artistico sia a livello di rappresentazione bizzarra di personaggi fragili sia della poesia dalla cifra raffinata.

Die filmische Aufarbeitung des Lachens ist immer eine inszenierte. In den Arbeiten wird das Lachen als performativer Akt erfasst, er wird von den Phasen der Entstehung bis zum Lachausbruch verfolgt. Die Videos zeigen die anfängliche Angespanntheit und innere Konzentration der abgebildeten Personen, die sich schließlich in einem Lachanfall entladen, der oftmals bis zur Hysterie anschwillt und zwanghafte Züge annimmt. Außerzivilisatorische Elemente, ani ma lische, ekstatische, werden sichtbar. Steinle verstärkt den Verfremdungseffekt durch die gleichzeitige Projektion der Videos auf mehrere Bildschirme und die kontinuierliche Repetition der Lachvorgänge. Er entwirft ein eindringliches Szenario, in dem das Lachen bis in seine Extremformen getrieben und so auf den Betrachter eine beunruhigende Wirkung ausgeübt wird. Es entsteht ein Austausch vitaler Empfindungen, eine vibrierende Balance zwischen Lachen und Beklemmung, die die Verschleierung eines Lachauslösers zusätz- lich steigert. Dass dies funktioniert und der Betrachter davon eingenommen wird, hat mit einer hohen artistischen Inszenierung sowohl skurriler Auftritte zerbrechlicher Figuren, als auch subtil chiffrierter Poesie zu tun.

The filmic processing of laughter is always a form of staging. In Steinle’s works, laughter is grasped as a performative act and followed from its initial stages through to the moment it bursts out. The videos portray the initial tenseness and inner concentration of people who in the end find release in a fit of laughing, which often turns hysterical and compulsive. Animal-like, ecstatic features outside of any civilizing perspective become visible. He heightens the alienation effect by projecting simultaneously on sev - eral screens the video films of continually repeated acts of laughing. He creates a powerful scenario in which laughter is taken to its extreme forms, thereby exerting an unsettling effect on the onlooker. An exchange of vital sensations arises, a vibrating bal - ance between laughter and constriction, which also conceals more effectively what has triggered the laughter. That this works and the onlooker is captivated by it has to do with the highly artistic staging and bizarre scenes with their fragile figures, as well as the subtly encoded poetry.

Annesusanne Fackler (Ed.), Piero Steinle - Laughter Project, Milano 2008

The gradual dislocation from serious "normal" expression in the persons faces to a state dominated by laughter is spontaneously perceived as a pleasurable and liberating experience. But at a certain point this shift might become unbearable. As it is well known the arcaic ingredients of laughter originate from situations of insecurity, tension and aggression. The uneasiness is also caused by the fact that the laughing is taking place without any particular cause. The laughter 'for no reason' provocates a sublime contrast to the common idea of laughter as sincere, spontaneous 'natural' expression. The focus on laughter itself isolates the purely physical aspects (contractions, grimaces, showing one's teeth, fits of choking, bursting into tears, grunting, gargling, gasping....) and reveals its ecstatic and uncivilized dimension.

Piero Steinle

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