Chiara Bersani

Seeking Unicorns

In the center of the picture, the artist Chiara Bersani appears on her knees and hands on the ground on top of a soft-looking white layer. Bersani has a white unicorn horn on her head. The color scheme that dominates the picture is white.

Photo: Roberta Segata, by the courtesy of Centrale Fies

A unicorn is a creature driven by its own desire to exist.

In her work, choreographer Chiara Bersani explores the body as the keeper of unique, unrepeatable stories. She sees the body as a political entity formed by encounters and clashes with society.

In Bersani’s thought, the body fulfills its social function when it chooses to merge into society and at the same time forces others to see it: the body becomes defined and interpreted, expectations from the outside begin to be directed at it.

The unicorn is a mythical animal, the shape of which is not defined by mythology, however. Sometimes the unicorn is depicted in the form of a bull, sometimes in the form of a horse. In her work, Bersani wants to make up for the injustices experienced by the unicorn by giving herself completely to it. She wants to give the unicorn the power of story, love and choice:

“You don’t interpret me, I show you a way to understand me. I take responsibility for giving the image that the world gets of me.”

Seeking Unicorns also tells about Chiara Bersani’s life as, in her own words, a “disabled” performer, but in a way that opens up the possibility of surrendering to a fragile, uprooted imaginary animal.

The performance is designed for non-theatrical spaces: empty, full, silent, crowded. To spaces whose light or history demands to be seen, and where the unicorn can take off its best clothes and abandon its theatrical stories and start a new journey in a new form.

The show is inspired by the northern light and will be performed in the Kiasma lobby at sunrise.

Chiara Bersani is an Italian performer and author active in the field of performing arts, research theater and contemporary dance. Her research as an interpreter, author and director-choreographer is based on the concept of the “Political Body” and the creation of practices aimed at training its presence and action. Seeking Unicorns continues on the themes of Bersani’s previous performance Gentle Unicorn. In August 2019, during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Gentle Unicorn and Chiara Bersani won the first prize in the dance category of the Total Theater Awards.

Working group:

Choreographer and performer: Chiara Bersani
Musician: Lemmo
Technician: Paolo Tizianel
Manager: Giulia Traversi

Performance is carried out in cooperation with Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, and is also part of Kiasma’s Navigating North exhibition. The ticket includes admission to Kiasma’s exhibitions on the day of the performance.

Wed 23.11. 08.30
Thu 24.11. 08.30
Fri 25.11. 08.30

Kiasma – Nykytaiteen museo
Mannerheiminaukio 2
00100 Helsinki

Price: 17 / 35 / pay-what-you-wish €
Duration: 40 min
Language: No language, only music