Marco Papa: Dancing on the Verge
Text by Marco Papa, Giovanni Carmine, Milovan Farronato, Michele Robecchi, Carlo McCormick, Elena Volpato, Matteo Boetti.
Marco Papa's raw material is drama: When Harlem-born Gene Anthony Ray showed up to audition for the movie Fame, it didn't matter that he lacked training, education and money; raw talent distinguished him from 5000 other dancers and landed him the leading role. Later it was his talent that didn't matter, as Ray floundered in drugs, alcohol and promiscuity until a series of strokes ended his life prematurely. Dancing on the Verge, a portrait in video, installation, collage and oral history, transforms the complex story of Ray's decline into that of a triumphant icon. Like his life, it remains inconclusive. Marco Papa, whose investigations into new and mass media have marked him as one of the most sensitive, arresting artists to emerge from Italy in recent years, calls it "a work about the failure that every one of us fears andů about the innate talent that we all think or wish we possess."