Allegories of power
The picture is black and red. On the left are unclothed people bent over climbing a staircase. On the right are soldiers.
Staged Reflections on Pasolini's Last Film »Salò or the 120 days of Sodom«
Fri, January 13, 2023 7 pm CET

A project by Gabriella Angheleddu, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, and Fabien Vitali / Admission 16 years+r

The production poses questions about power, states of emergency, violence, and fascism, as well as how today's world has overwhelmed humanity: Are global power relations deadlocked, even irreversible, and are therefore only dystopian scenarios of the future possible?

Pasolini's last film »Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom« has been censored, mutilated, and banned since it was made in 1975. In the film, wealthy and corrupt debauchers stage a cruel ritual. They kidnap some young people and subject them to extreme violence, abuse,and  torture for their own pleasure. Pasolini's diagnosis: "The powerful are always sadists, and those who endure power, their bodies become things, merchandise." In his film, Pasolini transfers the plot of the Marquis de Sade's »120 Days of Sodom« to the period of the fascist Republic of Salò, which he also understands as an allegory of his own post-war times: the era of the new "total fascism" — the consumer society.

Four decades after the premiere of »Salò« and Pasolini's murder the same year, these staged  reflections explore, also from an artistic point of view, the question of how topical Pasolini's last and most mature work is. After the premiere of the forerunner of »Allegories of Power« in 2015, Gideon Bachmann, Pasolini's longtime companion, said that the authors of the piece had succeeded in rendering the film's allegorical meaning accessible and in updating it entirely in the sense of Pasolini's radical social critique.

»Allegories of Power« is a revised version of the staged reflections that premiered on October 26, 2015 at the Hamburg Schauspielhaus, FAQ Room 1, under the title »Pier Paolo Pasolini, Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom«. It was also performed under this title in November 2017 at the Odeon Theater in Vienna during the  Dialectics of Liberation Symposium. At subsequent performances — the Rote Flora in March 2018, the 29th Theater Festival in October 2018 in St. Vith, Belgium, and as a video installation at Contemporary Art: "After Pasolini - Visions of Today" in September/October 2020 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria — the new title »Allegories of Power« was already established.

No film clips from »Salò« will be shown, but photos by set photographer Deborah Beer will be. Due to the necessary depiction of violence and nudity, admission is limited to people aged 16 or over.