Ivan Cheng – The Divine Comedy

Ivan Cheng
Zweigstelle Capitain III - Napoli
April 22, 2023 - 7 pm pm
Ivan Cheng at Zweigstelle Capitain III - Napoli

at C.A.S.A
Palazzo Degas
Calata Trinità Maggiore, 53
80134 Napoli, Italia

The Divine Comedy

Corpsing is a term for when an actor drops out of character. In this logic, death relates to authenticity. For this iteration of The Divine Comedy, Ivan Cheng borrows the structure of Dante’s classic, to set Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso in the Degas Palazzo, alongside Lacroix, Humphries, and Ducrot. In a necrotic leaning towards nostalgia, he casts Bette Midler - the Divine Miss M - as guide, over Virgil or Beatrice, at the site of her discovery; the legendary New York Continental Baths in the 1970s.

The cultural and social revolutions of this time come together in a spectacle interested in power, language, transmission, and abstraction of memory. Strung together with the easy logic of being an outsider, this production corresponds to a scenario for a fashion show in his upcoming third vampire novel around theatre and subculture. It is part of a series of recent performance works which deal with populism, genre, and poor reproduction. Garments - Good and Bad (Marina M. Kolushova, Victor Stuhlmann, Ossi Lehtonen), Camera - Arvo Leo.

Ivan Cheng produces video, objects, paintings and publications as anchors for the staging of complex and precarious spectacles. His background as a performer and musician form the basis for using performance as a critial medium. His work has recently been presented at Maxxi (Rome), Centrale Fies (Dro), Édouard Montassut (Paris). Confidences/Majority, the latest in a series of vampire books, was published by AWer 8 Books in 2022. He has initated the project space bologna.cc in Amsterdam since 2017.