On the occasion of the 30th year since the Mafia massacre in Via Palestro, the edition of PERFORMING PAC Summer 2023 is dedicated to the relationship between contemporary art and historical memory: the idea is to tell - through videos, photographs, installations, performances and a small "flashback" exhibition with material from the PAC Archive - how contemporary artistic practice and research has treated memory not as knowledge of history as an end in itself, but as a significantly and emotionally charged connection experienced between subjects and events that transcend their singularity.
For this new edition, we start with a rereading of Christian Boltanski's exhibition, 6 septembres, curated by Jean-Hubert Martin at the PAC in 2005. One of the main keys to interpreting Boltanski's work is precisely the analysis of the concept of "time", which inexorably flows and in which memory and remembrance become the signs, the traces, of man's fragile and unstable passage.
This year's title, Dance Me To The End Of Love, is a quotation from a song by Leonard Cohen from 1984, a song inspired by the drama of the Shoah. In an interview Cohen explained: 'The song came about by hearing the stories of survivors from the death camps. Next to the crematoria, in some concentration camps, a string quartet was forced to play while this horror unfolded. A horror that would also become the fate of the musicians themselves. They played when their comrades died'. But in the verses of the song, the drama seems to disappear in the salvific and peaceful mission of art as a vehicle of memory, capable of being stronger than any cruelty.