On Majorana’s trail

a project by Stefano Beghi, Chiara Boscaro, Marco Di Stefano
with Alice Pavan
by La Confraternita del Chianti and Karakorum Teatro
for The Fine Arts APS

On Majorana’s Trail is a new audio-guided performance, an intense urban adventure, an investigation that winds through the streets and stores of the Villapizzone neighborhood. This is not a guided tour, nor is it a podcast: it requires the participation of the viewer, who is called upon to solve a real 20th-century puzzle.

Did Ettore Majorana, the brilliant and reclusive physicist and student of Enrico Fermi, the “Grand Inquisitor” of Via Panisperna, really disappear in the spring of 1938 frightened because he “predicted” the birth of the atomic bomb? Majorana’s trail was lost. Until now.
A man in his 40s, somewhat neglected — but clean — stares wrinkledly out the window of Streetcar 12 and occasionally scribbles something in pen on a cigarette packet, numbers, numbers, incomprehensible formulas. He looks straight out of the 1930s, dressed in old-fashioned clothes and the ever-present soft MS package. It is an urban legend, it is always told by that student at the Polytechnic to whom he solved the formula needed to pass the Analysis exam; or that other one, the Giuseppe Bianchi, who always says that the Jesuits used to host a “strange man” at the Villa. Could it be him, the scientist who disappeared into thin air? Effectively Majorana studied at the Jesuits–but if it’s really him, he should be today… how old? It is not possible, how did he stay young for so long?
The performance takes the audience on a traveling, audio-guided manhunt through the Villapizzone neighborhood, including clues, stories, interviews, “rumors” and half-truths. In search of the difficult balance between innovation and tradition, a balance that is often only possible in some virtuous suburbs. A reflection on progress, the future, and the need to slow down or change course.


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