Wael Shawky
Fabrizio La Palombara
Claudio Cavallari
Cittadellarte_Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, in collaboration with Theater der Welt, Essen
2010, 31’, Arabic with English subtitles

The Egyptian artist Wael Shawky reinterprets the First Crusade through the use of puppets of the Lupi collection from Turin and partly manufactured in the workshops of pottery school of Provence, Faculty of Aix.
The artist has been working on a film in four acts since 2012 which revises the religious presuppositions of the first Crusade against Jerusalem in 1095-99. The direction is based on the book by Amin Maalouf: The Crusades through the eyes of the Arabs (1983).
The two films, the first two parts of the work which is not yet finished, argue different positions from the ecclesiastical rhetoric of Pope Urban II. The spectator is captured by scenes of bloody carnage but, through the aesthetic distance caused by the rigidity of the actors/puppets, fully retraces historical events in an extraordinary atmosphere thanks to the stunning photography by Fabrizio La Palombara.