Shakespeare at home

The formula of `creative resistance` in times of isolation

Kindred spirits cannot but call one another. Reached via Messenger by a note about this clever and poetic project, I began to follow, image after image, video after video, the evolution of HOMEShakes — The tragic world of daily gestures and deeds. Not just Shakespeare, drew me, but a creative instinct `by means of Shakespeare` as a coping mechanism, in times of isolation.

A YouTube channel and an Instagram profile come alive day after day aiming to cover the whole canon. Authors are Zoe Pernici — graduated at the `Paolo Grassi`, touring with Scimone-Sframeli when the emergency shut down theatres, and Francesco Scarel — scientist, a Phd in Nanotechnology, video maker with an interest for science communication via artistic media.

Welcome Zoe. How did the idea come up? Do you remember the precise moment? 

It was March. Me and Francesco decided to spend the long lockdown period together. And we both felt, at some point, that basic everyday actions, such as cleaning, cooking, washing hands were about to taking over a new value. We can easily say the idea came up in the bathroom. I had never washed my hands as often as in that period, when right there, in front of the mirror over the sink, I thought of Lady Macbeth.

Then I recalled Shakespeare: The Animated Tales, the series from the Russian animation studio Soyuzmultfilm. As a child it literally fascinated me. So, watching this jewel again with Francesco, we started processing the idea. I went back to the Shakespearean page, and all of a sudden I felt the need to get in touch with colleagues and friends for sharing it. All of them reopened their `Shakespeare cupboard`, and went back to reading. Francesco is a professional `experimenter` and immediately came on board with his passion for the audiovisual language. 

What does Shakespeare mean to you?

Definitely the author mostly deepened in the years of the academy and beyond. Not just that, though. He strikes me all the times for his relevance. The more I read of him, the more I realize I do not know enough of him. Shakespeare is like an iceberg! I am happy that childhood memory came back to the surface.

What is your creative process? How do you work?

We look for a monologue or a dialogue we find interesting to us and we propose it to an actress or an actor we have pinpointed beforehand. In the meantime we look around, as in: in our home. We look for objects, spaces, gestures pointing the way towards Shakespeare’s words. We work by consonance, metaphors, association of ideas. And irony is the keystone this `tale in images` is founded upon. After that we shoot, cut, insert the audio on the background, refining everything along the line. The whole happening into a home made studio which is actually growing on itself.  

How do you `recruit` the voices?

At the very beginning I proposed the idea to four friends and colleagues of mine, and little by little the interest in the project grew and some other `voices` were added, of people I had never known or worked with before, actresses and actors I had never met personally, but always appreciated artistically. We talk about the fragment in question, they record it — sometimes with very basic means, such as a smartphone, and they sent it to us. So far we have 42 actors engaged in the project, all of them are Italian, but we have already touched base with `voices` from abroad. We would like HOMEShakes to speak other languages! 

`HOMEShakes is neither theatre nor cinema`. Video-art? `Theatre-graphics`?

Your definition is correct. Beyond definitions, though, the most important theme is what I write after that: `It is a form of experimentation to keep on creating, together. It is a way of living the words of the great playwright now, in this very moment, with all of the gravity, and irony, in case`. The expressive moments being born in Shakespeare are universal, and for this reason `intercepting` our everyday deeds. Our quest leans towards these everyday moments, in the attempt of bringing his great words to a wide public. 

What will the next steps be?

Necessarily our next step will be a crowdfunding campaign: we want to repay both all the artists who participated, and will participate in the project, and our own work, and also to have enough funds to develop HOMEShakes further. We are also trying to understand how to bring the project into schools, and if ours might be, as an audiovisual language, a mean capable of having kids approach Shakespeare. Furthermore — in a wider perspective perhaps interweaving with video art, we are thinking of an installation collecting all the `shorts`. 

Thank you. I know you care much about naming them all. Would you like to list all of the HOMEShakes voices so far? 

Yes. They are: Orietta Notari, Ariella Reggio, Federica Fracassi, Andrea Di Casa, Marcela Serli, Elena Russo Arman, Alice Giroldini, Marco Oscar Maccieri, Paola Giannini, Cristina Cappelli, Chiara Tomei, Viola Lucio, Serena Ferraiuolo, Dalila Reas, Riccardo Dal Toso, Miriam Russo, Matteo Ciccioli, Anna Cappellari, Nathan Boch, Mariasilvia Greco, Bruno Ricci, Marta Chiara Amabile, Emanuele Turetta, Federica Garavaglia, Mauro Milone, Andrea Delfino, Francesco Natoli, Giuseppe Scoditti, Luca Mammoli, Michelangelo Maria Zanghì, Luigi Feroleto, Federica Ombrato, Alessandro Bay Rossi, Enza De Rose, Sara Alzetta, Valentino Pagliei, Marco Palazzoni, Giulia Mancini, Rossella Fava, Giulio Cancelli, Ludovico Fededegni, Daniele Tenze.

The micro-video `animating` this post has been realized specifically for this `chat`.

The same gracious and devotional aesthetics lives not only in the video episodes, where you will find new characters such as DesdeMoka, ArielGel, KingClear, and others, but also in the magical `gallery` of the people behind the voices portraits, the latter to be found clicking on the second link above.  

Click here to set the image in motion!

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