September 9, 2022

Casting the Castle III

They repeat themselves constantly, but do not create a sense of habit

Artists: Giorgia Accorsi & Fabio Giorgi Alberti, Filippo Berta, Paolo Bufalini, Greig Burgoyne,
Nadah El Shazly, Kae Tempest, Sissi, Guido van der Werve

Curator: Saverio Verini

Location: Civitella Ranieri Castle, via Ursula Corning 1 – Umbertide (PG)

Date: Saturday, September 10th, 2022, from 17:30 to 19.30 – free admission

Civitella Ranieri Foundation is pleased to present the third edition of Casting the Castle, curated by
Saverio Verini, to be held on September 10th, 2022. As the name suggests, Casting the Castle aims
to reveal an unexpected image of Civitella Ranieri, by opening it up to the public and unveiling its
spaces, in the interest of strong visitor engagement.

After two years, Casting the Castle returns this year with a particularly rich program. We’ve involved
nine artists for the occasion, who will present interventions of various natures – performance, video,
installations, and sound – scattered throughout the spaces of the Civitella Ranieri Castle, which for
over 25 years has held a program of artist residencies for visual artists, writers, and composers from
around the world.

The subtitle, They repeat themselves constantly, but do not create a sense of habit, is from a text
written in 2011 by a past Civitella Ranieri Fellow, the visual artist Riccardo Benassi, dedicated to the
sounds he heard from his studio window during his residency: a polyphony tied to the different
proposals for Casting the Castle, which at the same time references the concept of repetition, another
theme of this year’s event. All the works and interventions are in fact united by the reiteration of
gestures, images, and voices, suggesting in some cases the idea of an actual loop, an incessant and
circular energy that is unleashed in the spaces of Civitella Ranieri, something between entropy and
expansion. A “performative” exhibition, where movement is always present, both live and in the
works installed in the various rooms of the Castle. In this sense, even the duration of the exhibition
(a single day, in the space of a few hours) aims to underline the temporal and ephemeral dimension
of this third edition of Casting the Castle.


The journey begins in the gardens, where Greig Burgoyne (Glasgow, Scotland, 1971) will present
an original performance, designed for Civitella Ranieri. Burgoyne decided to focus on the area right
in front of the Castle: a decidedly extended surface the artist contends with through a series of
paradoxical and extenuating actions, in line with his own poetics. Burgoyne’s body becomes the
instrument for measuring and redesigning the space; his gestures – as extravagant as they are futile –
manifest an interest in repetition and accumulation, resistance and persistence, at times issuing forth
tragicomic effects.

Giorgia Accorsi (Latina, Italy, 1977) and Fabio Giorgi Alberti (Leiden, Netherlands, 1980) have
conceived the intervention Sparacadute/Parashoot, which finds its place in the Castle’s interior
courtyard. The two artists will move through the corridor on the top floor of the building, which
features windows that open onto the courtyard: armed with a slingshot, they will from time to time
launch small parachutes, which will gently glide to the ground. Each launching will be preceded by
the exclamation of a word – almost a military command – also displayed on the parachute: a lexicon
that emphasizes the character of the performance, somewhere between game and war simulation.

The voice of Kae Tempest (London, England, 1985) will echo in the Castle’s small chapel, accessible
from the interior courtyard. The already evocative space of the chapel will be occupied by Tempest’s
voice, reading lines drawn from their book Let Them Eat Chaos (2016), which signaled the artist as
one of the most internationally significant voices in contemporary poetry. The brief text is recorded
and reproduced in a loop, repeating itself like an oneiric mantra.

The Library inside the Castle will hold, in alternation, the performances of Filippo Berta (Treviglio,
Italy, 1977) and Sissi (Bologna, Italy, 1977). Berta will present, for the first time, a performance that
finds its ideal habitat in the Castle library: dozens of people will be involved in a collective action
based on the gesture of browsing through books. A simple and daily action which is instead stressed
and transfigured: the people are in fact asked to page through books as fast as they are able, calling
into question the almost compulsive desire of knowledge and the elusiveness that comes with it. Sissi
instead presents a performance titled Circonvolare: the artist will move through the room with roller-
skates on her feet, tracing in the space unpredictable trajectories that will also determine and guide
the position of the audience inside the room, suggesting an image suspended between freedom,
dynamism, and constraint.

The composer Nadah El Shazly (Cairo, Egypt, 1989), currently in residence at Civitella Ranieri, has
put together an installation that stems from the Castle’s sounds. El Shazly recorded the sounds of
doors and windows, squeaks, creaks, and other ambient sounds, which she used to compose a track
that, playing off the charm of the Castle, evokes dreamlike and alienating presences.

The installation Untitled by Paolo Bufalini (Rome, Italy, 1994) is on the top floor of the Castle. The
piece consists of ten white cushions on the floor: seemingly inert, the cushions gradually reveal some
movement – a slow and constant breathing – which lends these objects an aura that is enigmatic,
disturbing, and, at the same time, full of lyricism.

After going back through the spaces, the journey ends in the Gallery, right outside the Castle, with
the showing of The day I didn’t turn with the world (2007) by Guido van der Werve (Papendrecht,
Netherlands, 1977). The video shows the artist at the culmination of a trip to the Geographic North
Pole; once he reaches the exact point in which the axis intersects the surface of the earth, van der
Werve stands there for twenty-four hours, turning clockwise, while the earth beneath him turns
counterclockwise. A declaration of asynchrony with the world, which finds its formalization in the
video through a timelapse that reduces the day into nine minutes, creates an effect of stasis and

Casting the Castle III – They repeat themselves constantly, but do not create a sense of habit aims to
emphasize the Castle’s enchanted atmosphere, while offering the public an opportunity to enter
Civitella’s doors, by visiting its spaces on this unprecedented occasion. This project – thanks to its
original and multidisciplinary offerings – testifiesto the vitality of the Foundation and its singularity
in the field of artist residencies, all with an eye to Civitella’s recent past: it’s no accident that Kae
Tempest and Sissi spent time in residence at the Castle in recent years, while Nadah El Shazly is a
current Fellow at Civitella Ranieri.

Dana Prescott, Civitella’s Executive Director since 2007, says this about Casting the Castle:
“After a long pause because of COVID, we are so pleased to re-open the Civitella Ranieri Castle to
Saverio Verini’s brilliant vision and curatorship. Casting the Castle 2022 brings a rich array of
multi-performances designed to animate the spaces of our ‘campus’ in a manner that will delight,
intrigue, and involve our audiences. We are thrilled to include outstanding artists from ‘the world
around us’ as well as Civitellians such as Kae Tempest and Sissi. This once-a-year event is not to be

The exhibition runs from 17:30 to 19:30. Due to the limited amount of space, Filippo Berta and Sissi’s
performances are open to a group of up to fifty people: we recommend you RSVP in order to ensure
access to the event.