Reveal thyself Alighieri   2000

for Claudia
Music  Ludwig van Beethoven, Mendel Hardeman
with recordings of  Claudia Mejía Florez, Marcella Prieto, Mendel Hardeman
Video  Mendel Hardeman
Camera  Maria Schina
Stage direction  Mendel Hardeman
with  Adriana Mejía  as Dante Alighieri

After  "Last days of a cross"  I felt I was on the right path, one that I should continue on - using music and video only as parts of a bigger whole, a stage performance.
‘Reveal thyself Alighieri’  originated in a completely intuitive way. Until the moment of the première I had no idea what it was all about, I just felt it was the only thing I could be doing. And only after the performance I really understood what I had made, and was amazed by seeing I had happened to put my whole self into it without having noticed.

The result could be described as a surreal dream driven by the Funeral March of Beethoven's Eroica, a dream in which Dante Alighieri is lost in the Hell of Hieronymus Bosch's painting "Garden of Earthly Delights". Two years earlier I had spent quite a few months putting together a 5000-piece puzzle of this painting, so I knew every single detail by heart. The puzzle played a major role in the video, since one piece of it was missing (the one with Dante's face on it), and the whole performance revolved around the search for this one missing piece.
The performance starts with a slideprojector showing the first outer wing of the painting (the left shutter), which carries the phrase "ipse dixit et facta sunt" (free translation: "He spoke, and it became"), followed by a text in the video - "I laid down in my hammock, turned on Beethoven's funeral march, and fell asleep" (at the time I lived in a very small room where there was no space for a bed, so I actually slept in a hammock, and the whole piece was conceived while listening to Beethoven from this position).
From that point on you are swept along in a dream visualized on stage via a video screen, 2 slide projectors, a sudden stream of sand raining down on stage from above, a grave with candles on it (and Dante in it - he will ressuscitate towards the end of the piece), and a 6-channel soundtrack on ADAT. The final image is the right shutter of the painting (we are closing it again), with the text "ipse mandavit et creata sunt" ("He commanded and it was created").

There were three perfomances, one with the complete stage setting and the others as a video version including registrations of the stage action of the first. You can read a short Volkskrant review  of this performance.

performance history
16.03.00, Haagsche Winter - Korzo Theater, Den Haag
full stage version, 6-channel sound
07.04.00, Muziekcentrum de IJsbreker, Amsterdam
video version, 6-channel sound
06.02.02, Kinematografiki Leschi Kythiron, Kythira, Greece
video version, 2-channel sound

◊ Caress

◊ Kyrie Eleison


◊ a Tree for Glenn Gould

◊ Mann mit Kreuz

◊ Via Crucis

◊ The Cup

◊ Epilogue to Orpheus

◊ Harpsichorpheus

◊ Sysif's Song

◊ Dark Blue Horizon

◊ Times and Tides

◊ Unholy Vessels



◊ 7 short attempts to
    write a piece for violin

◊ Reveal thyself Alighieri

◊ Last days of a cross

◊ A Última Quimera

◊ the Singing Camera

◊ Het Dierenparadijs

◊ Tattooed Tongues

◊ Slowly turning narrative

◊ Planecrash

◊ A View on Beauty
Mendel Hardeman archiv 1999-2006
singendes auge