VIII edition > Ludens
5 > 8 November 2020
Press preview, preview, vernissage > 4 November
h 11 > 20
Pala Alpitour > Turin > Italy
Each edition a news chapter that adds a new episode to the story of Flashback.
The eighth, in 2020, is inspired to the game of chess and, in particular, to the humorous science-fiction tale “Unicorn Variations” by Roger Zelazny.
Johan Huinzinga (author of the essay “Homo Ludens”) is the first historian who talks about Homo Ludens and culture as a complex of social phenomena. Huinzinga shifts the investigation into the daily manifestations of life and examines the notion of “play” as a cultural invariant, that is as a constant in cultural behavior of all peoples. His thesis come to inspire the situationist playful society “New Babylon” where Man, freed from the slavery of work thanks to technology, will discover a life in perennial travel through the regions of the Earth, always looking for new possibilities of experience; a wandering life in a society of nomads on a planetary scale; no longer Homo Faber but Homo Ludens.
The Ludens (Players) are those individuals who are fully free and conscious that they can act on the world, recreating it through creativity and free play. The foundation of culture, thanks to which we feed our humanity, is not the practical activity but the freedom of the spirit; thus Huizinga assigns to the human playful activities the capacity of being the driving force of art, literature, theater, law, science, religion and philosophy. They are wandering players, in this case, of the game par excellence: chess, a fil rouge in the history of art, from Nefertari’s Mortuary Chapel – Egypt, 1200 B.C. – to conceptual art, passing through Dadaism and Surrealism. Every Ludens knows that – within those 64 cases, which are as white like life and black like death – there is the whole spectrum a human being experiences in his/her existence. The game is life itself, because chess is a very complex game, of variable infinite dynamics, where the potential combinations are immense. The freedom of Man manifests in the infiniteness of such variable and in the chance to choose: every Ludens is given his/her “variant” in the game.