About Simone Carella

Together with Simone Carella, protagonist of the inaugural exhibition within the museum’s Polyphony section, the writer Andrea Cortellessa organised Poetitaly in 2014. It was a festival which reconnected with the spirit of a festival which survived in its full colours only in the narration of those who had been present; an international, Woodstock-like celebration of poetry and its howling poets.


Prior to enriching Io poetu tu, the exhibition on Simone Carella on view until 6 June 2021, with an interpretation of Carella’s work and life, Andrea Cortellessa, writer and professor at La Sapienza University, shares a reflection on who, or better what, Simone Carella was. 

“Who Simone Carella was, is known only by those who met him in real life; but I doubt that they can explain it to those who have not had this luck. Instead, “what” he has been, perhaps, one can try to say.” I don’t think there’s a Wikipedia entry in his name (and yes, even dogs and pigs have them; I can say that, since even I have one), but if there were, I bet it’d start with a definition like “theater director”. To tell the truth, I haven’t made it in time to see one of his shows at the theater, intended as a place so put in the register. But any place where Simone was, was indeed a theater; I don’t know if it had always been this way, but it’s certainly been like this for a while when I met him. 

The anagraphic definition, however, is laughably approximate. Since, at least since the days of Castelporziano, his ‘theater’ has been ‘with poets’ rather than ‘with poetry’, perhaps the only way to define him is as a ‘poet’. A poet who has never written a line is quite a paradox, but it was the paradox that Simone embodied. His figure exemplifies, perhaps better than any other in his generation, what can be called the ‘expanded poetry’ of his time: crossing not only the boundaries of the page, as the avant-garde of the twentieth century have always preached, but also of the ‘text’ understood in its widest semiotic sense. 

Carella’s poetry consists, each time, in the invention of a place: for this reason it took place preferably in the theater or in the spaces he prodigiously theatricalized. “Inventing a place” means ‘inventing’ a space with no quality, like a desolate beach on a summer night, and magically ‘expanding’ it into what from then on, instead, is a “place.” This magic is accomplished with an idea, a color, a sound; a poem, for example. This was Simone’s genius, this I can try to explain.”