Enrico Floriddia: Masters of the eclipse
Enrico Floriddia is resident at KEX Studio in February 2019. In a performative lecture he presents the second chapter of his recent project Bildungsroman. Bildungsroman conveys artistic research on the life of Eduard Glaser – astronomer, epigraphist, archaeologist, and expert in Judeo-Arabic culture in Southern Arabia. Eduard Glaser lived all his life as a stranger. Born into a Jewish family in the region of to-day Czech Republic in the mid-nineteenth century, he spent his life wandering. Enrico Floriddia’s Bildungsroman traces the first part of Glaser’s life through his studies in Prague and Vienna, his journey by foot to Paris, and his troubled time in Tunis and Alexandria before he reached his craved destination, Yemen. The so-called Arabia Felix (lat. »Happy Arabia«) was the place where Eduard Glaser finally stopped his quest. Just to start digging.
Like Glaser, the series of altogether five lecture performances is constantly looking at the Sun. Enrico Floriddia will make use of his research material, found documents, supposed dreams, liminal texts, and pop music videos to build an original fiction, which unfolds along a rather tortuous line.
Chapter I »How to become oriented«
February 14, 2019, 7.00 pm at philomena+, Heinestraße 40/7, 1020 Vienna
Enrico Floriddia reveals how Eduard Glaser started looking at the Sun and became infatuated with the Queen of Saba.
Chapter II »Masters of the eclipse«
February 20, 2019, 6.00 pm at KEX Studio
In this chapter the story follows Eduard Glaser on his quest towards the Sun, which brought him to the Upper Nile region, where he observes a stunning eclipse and stumbles in local revolts.
Chapter III »Queen of Saba a.k.a. βασίλισσατουνότου«
February 26, 2019 at 7.00 pm at philomena+, Heinestraße 40/7, 1020 Vienna
Passing through encounters in Vienna and Tunis, the third chapter deals with Eduard Glaser's final arrival in Arabia Felix. Eduard Glaser discovers a new face of the Queen of Saba. A story of herbs and hair.
Intermezzo »In nome della scandalosa forza rivoluzionaria del passato«
March 12, 2019, 7.00 pm at the Italian Cultural Institute Vienna, Ungargasse 43a, 1030 Vienna (in Italian)
In this presentation Enrico Floriddia provides insights into his work as an artist and the issues that he is dealing with. The artist presents his project Bildungsroman as well as how he became obsessed with Eduard Glaser and – inevitably – with the Sun.
Chapter IV »The orientations of Eduard Glaser. Hypothesis on positions, motivations and movements of a European scholar in the MENA region (1880–1888)«
June 13–15, 2019 at the symposium »Rencontres Sabéennes: Out of Arabia: South Arabian long-distance trade in antiquity« at ÖAW Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna
In the end, was Eduard Glaser a scholar, a library rat, or rather a trader and an explorer? Based on the memoir of his local guide in Yemen, Hayyim Habshush, this lecture tries to turn the picture of Eduard Glaser that has been drawn until now upside down.
All performances are held in English except the intermezzo (March 12), which will be conducted in Italian.