Cover images for the book 'I Appeared to the Madonna', written by Carmelo Bene in 1983.
Published by Contra Mundum Press, New York, 2020.
Carmelo Bene (1937–2002) was a notorious Italian actor, writer, and director who inaugurated his theater in 1959 with Camus’ Caligula then exploded onto the artistic scene with his outré Christ ’63. Later, he collaborated with Pasolini, Glauber Rocha, Bussotti and others as well as philosophers, like Gilles Deleuze.
In 1983, the fiercely polemical grand provocateur wrote I Appeared to the Madonna, a kind of ars poetica and chronicle of his life, self-described as very risky, imaginary, and at the same time real. The work is founded on Bene’s concepts of non-being, abandonment, and lack. As Piergiorgio Giacchè noted, “the phrase ‘I appeared to the Madonna’ was never a saying but a doing of Bene’s, an event that marked the body of his actor and the corpus of his works: appearing to Our Lady has become an addition to his grace and the accomplishment of his genius.”
Federico Gori - I Appeared to the Madonna - ink and enamel on paper - cm 22,7 x 35