Calvino’s cities are from a smaller scale, on a human size originated and developed. In Etude 17, Deruta is such a city. The real Deruta is situated in Umbria in Italy and should not have had such a special meaning if there had not been a prosperous ceramic industry since the 12th century, because of the presence of useful clay near by.
Deruta ceramics is based on a tradition of centuries, hand painted domestic pottery: plates, cans, cups, all painted in decorative motives, inspired by nature. Simple motives, from classic to more modern elements, elegant and popular at the same time. Motives of leaves, flowers, birds.
And why should I buy the bare pottery from Ikea and meet everywhere in the same emptiness, like on more and more breakfast tables in Europe?
Why not take away from the Place d’Aligres in Paris a pile of plates, beautifuil hand painted, of from closer by, from the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam, like not that longtime ago a marvelous salmon plate.
photo: Beatriz Pontes
A small bunch of flowers appears below my biscotte with smoked beef, and the more my biscotte disappear, the flower appear in it’s total glory, to invite me to go out, to walk and to look, somtiumes even to conquer the world.
Like parents bringing home from their travels objects that become part of your daily life, in my case it was this Deruta pottery. It was growing all the time in quantity, but always some parts were broken. But even a broken flinder keeps its beauty. I can’t throw them away.
Some plates or egg-cups are endlessly glued. This beauty and Deruta are melted together in Etude 17, in which the story is situated. You landed there by coincidence, in a street, half way a dance studio, noticed by the sounds of the piano, coming outside. Earlier travels to Granada (with A. an open dance studio for Flamenco) and Budapest (sound recordings with A. down the street, along a dance studio for classical dance), presenting urban and piano-ingredients for this unexpected all its senses touching experience of a traveller.
But Deruta is paved with flinders, like life itself, of painful beauty.
Etude 17 is in the performance the ‘invisible’ Calvino city. Not performed, not projected, but just to hear in the piano sounds of Komitas, only be read on the backside of the program-paper that each spectator receives, the text is there, all the time, but maybe just discovered at home when the sheet falls on its face by a gust of wind and is showing its back: The city & the flinders, my tribute to Calvino’s Le Città invisibili, his matchless power of imagination, an inspiration already for so long!