Lella Costa, photo by Gianluca di Ioia

Shadowy intrigues

March 30, 2020

As one of the Live Events from the spaces that host the exhibition I quaderni di Giancarlo De Carlo – the exhibition that Triennale is devoting to the architect and urban planner, to mark the hundredth anniversary of his birth – the actress Lella Costa recited a monologue with highly topical overtones inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies: Othello.

Lella Costa. Triennale Decameron

“One feature of the great classics – those that we need and that still manage to save our lives – is precisely this: they help us make sense of things that, when they happen right next to us, we find so hard to understand. Sometimes, we need to step away. Sometimes it is best if a story about human relationships is not weighed down by current affairs. The further away we are, the more it seems it is talking to us and about us."

Lella Costa, photo by Gianluca di Ioia

In retracing the story of Othello, Lella Costa dwells on some aspects of language, recollecting the five qualities that Calvino outlines in his American Memos: speed, multiplicity, visibility, accuracy, and lightness.

“Othello is a wonderful man, and he is an immigrant. He is considered to be a great leader, and he expresses himself with a propriety of language, almost a devotion to a language that is not his own, not the language he was born with. Iago is a rascal, a scoundrel, an opportunist, a profiteer, and he is fast, because that language is his own, he was born there, and he uses it and tells lies in it.”

Lella Costa, photo by Gianluca di Ioia

After reciting this monologue, Lella Costa left us with a memory of Giancarlo De Carlo.

“I met and got to know Giancarlo De Carlo, whom I knew as Anna’s father and Jessica’s grandfather. So I have a very particular view of him. I was very close to Anna De Carlo for a long time because our daughters were in class together at elementary school. Anna is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. It is truly thrilling to find the whole story of De Carlo’s career here at Triennale. And I have been particularly struck to see that it was none other than Anna who kept every reproduction of his diary and notes. I find this tribute put on by Milan really inspiring, because I believe that De Carlo was a truly great architect and intellectual in the broadest sense. And these two things do not always necessarily coincide.”

Lella Costa, photo by Gianluca di Ioia
Lella Costa, photo by Gianluca di Ioia

I quaderni di Giancarlo De Carlo presents 16 notebooks, kept and transcribed by his daughter Anna De Carlo. They are a truly private archive, compiled over 39 years, with great care given to the texts and graphics. The exhibition offers a cross section of the themes dealt with in the annotations of Giancarlo De Carlo's notebooks, including his personal reflections, travel reports, notes on design and his relationships with friends and colleagues.

Giancarlo De Carlo, Diary five, 1971-1972, photo by Gianluca di Ioia
Giancarlo De Carlo, Diary five, 1971-1972, photo by Gianluca di Ioia

Credits

Texts by Lella Costa

Related events

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