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GIOSAFAT
MINE VAGANTI

Un'adolescenza trascorsa per lo più dentro la scatola magica nella quale avevo trasformato la mia stanza, nella quale regnava una sola voce, quella del mito, necessario a quell'età, ha generato le fantasie sulle quali ho costruito un progetto performativo di soli durante i quali davo vita ai sentimenti più diversi dei personaggi che immaginavo chiusi dentro le canzoni della cantante, ed ai quali ero io a dare voce, liberandoli per un po'.

This is an ongoing project started in 1997.

Mina e Mine Vaganti

Mina y Mine Vaganti

Mina and Mine Vaganti

At last I was in possession of the 200 Lire and could approach the juke-box across the beach.

Inside that big container of 45 revolution discs, there was only one song to me; this is why I resolutely went towards the title that I had learnt together with the name of the singer. I would let the small coin roll in and get ready for a battery thud and then a guitar chord that would slit the silence suspended prior to the song and would easily carry me to another world, free from the thousand prohibitions that implied a holiday at the sea with one's parents, and the incomprehension I sensed from the local kids: city boy grown up in a big apartment, in the top floor of a building as so many others.

The song was "Ma chi è quello lì", the singer Mina. It was the end of the summer of 1988, it had been my 11th birthday a short time ago, and in a few weeks school would begin again.

But before the summer I had believed that Mina was Monica Vitti, because I had seen her in TV singing in playback, performing a bored supermarket shopper (the character of the song). My mother, understanding my error told me that the voice was not from Monica Vitti, who was an actress and had not enough voice to sing: it was from Mina instead, a very good singer.

Two years later, after several pilgrimages to the music stands of a big downtown shop to admire the images of her records, I finally bought "Uiallalla": my first record from Mina. I listened to it great many times, because I was trying to understand. I could see gleamy lips brushing a microphone.

In 1977, the same year that Mina sang her last concerts, I was starting to whimper. In 1978 she gave her last live concert, deciding never to appear in public again, but she kept on recording.
In her 20 year career she had left her mark wherever she had been, and I collected all that was at my reach.

Since my teens I have heard her, sang her, drawn her, fantasized her, invented her.
Counting only with the presence of her voice I could do nothing else but imagine her; which led me to recreate her, re-invent her: the vertiginous ways of her voice were translated into facial mimicry, grimaces and body movements.
New Jupiter I gave birth to her Mina-Minerva out of my brain.

This fervid imagination was nourished by the images-icons of her records and seldom re-runs of her old Saturday night TV shows.
She has thus attended -without being aware- my personal story, my changes, my transformations.
She sang my joys, my pains, she outcried my anger. Archetype, projection, , disfigurating mirror.

I explored all her record production in a long seclusion that from the entire apartment was reduced to my room, with a door always open into my world: the mirror behind a door, always locked.

When I was 20 a brilliant idea was my passport to surpass both doors: I was to create, to incarnate, to give shape to all those characters enclosed inside her songs, that I had seen so many times on the other side of the mirror; offer my body in an alchemic fusion with her voice in order to give a present space and time to the feelings, aspirations and needs of all those creatures who once liberated, would lead unpredictable lives: the Mine Vaganti.
- Translator's Note: Mine Vaganti means literally Drifting Mines. giosafat plays on words with the name of the singer, Mina (in Italian the plural of mina is mine) and the possibility that by multiplying her, the resulting characters become wanderers (vaganti). -

I have much paused at that threshold before going through it and got used to the dialogue with the reflected image that always required from me a corageous and determinate act: to leap to the other side to gather her; there she was witnessing that being on the other side was possible.

The double, or better still, the multiple had become unavoidable.

I was no longer alone in my room, there was another Giosafat who confirmed the truthful and undobtful existence of a different reality, with happiness and beauty, in a place and time yet to be known; I listened to him in total confidence, I had so thoroughly imagined that reality that I could not be doubtful.

And besides this, neither Mina was only one: she would look at herself in a mirror that such as mine would answer to her in "Catene" and she hugged and cuddled herself in "Ti conosco mascherina". The eco of the previous song could still be heard when I was listening to a new one, while 20 or 30 years could have passed between both recordings: she was a girl and a woman, she was a man and a woman as in "Rane supreme", she was at a time the soloist and the choir conformed by her repeated self.

Thus have come into being the "Mine Vaganti", a performative project in which i would never be a faded copy, or the illusion of her come-back, but the dangerous and unpredictable explosion of a multitude of mines.

Between 1998 and 2000, firmly and with sounding courage I gave life in Palermo to numerous performances of the "Mine Vaganti" with a constant challenge: to be always different on stage using the same body, mine, and the same voice, hers. The theater for this defiance has been "I Candelai": the only scene, now and then, inhabited by the spirit of Palermo, and therefore closer to a fantastic place more than to a real one.

And so it happened, that a very young audience that never, or almost, had seen Mina's voice coming out of her body, would associate from then on, her voice to mine.
In 2004 another important M is added in my story, actually two: Massimo Milani, unique personage in the scene of Palermo. After seeing him so many times going through the city I finally met him in 1996 in the enchanted box of Candelai; where else!

A one in a million performer, but as the million ought to be, Massimo is the most generous person I have ever met. With him the dialogue I had opened between me, myself and an imaginary Mina takes shape; the opulence of someone on the other side who reacts and proposes the unpredictable. This infinite richness has given birth to an imaginary of horizons beyond the horizon, new performances and a theater piece.