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"This is my heart which was taken away from me in 1944"

Genesis. From the Museum of Sleep

The second part of Romeo Castellucci’s production Genesi. From the Museum of Sleep, entitled “Auschwitz” concerns the systematic murder of children in concentration camps. To present the tragic events that took place in Auschwitz, Castellucci did not select either the verbal narrative, or the representation. To stage this topic, he includes it in the “Museum of Sleep”, as if it were a dream, in which everything, initially immobilized in formalin, suddenly seems to be released. The source of the artistic inspiration and the concept of the performance has been the pattern “dream within a dream” by Primo Levi. The Italian writer recalled the painful experiences of Auschwitz and described the stories of children who violently lost their childhood.

On the stage of Genesi, barbarism is hidden: we see six little children, dressed as bunnies, apparently sprung from the world of Alice in Wonderland, playing carefree, in blissful ignorance of what is to come. Another area bordered by white curtains represents a clinical laboratory, where human lives are sacrificed “in the name of science”. Human organs fall from above.

These are my lungs which were taken away from me in 1857

This is my liver which was taken away from me in 1903

This is my womb, with the ovaries, which was taken away from me in 1938

This is my heart which was taken away from me in 1944.

Eleni Papalexiou, "The Dramaturgies of Gaze: Strategies of Vision and Optical Revelations in the Theatre of Romeo Castellucci and the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio", in: Theatre as Voyeurism. The pleasures of Watching, G. Rodosthenous (ed.), London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 50-68.

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