Paolino (sound piece II)

Paolino (Sound Piece II), 2013. 8:00. Audiowork.
By Paolo Pennuti.

This work exits as a bookwork and two distinct audioworks.

Paolino is a fable written in 1906 by the Italian philosopher, Carlo Michelstaedter. In 1910, at the age of twenty-three Michaelstaedter committed suicide after an argument with his mother and before defending his University thesis on the philosophical study of persuasion and rhetoric in ancient philosophy.

For this work a 6th grade Italian class was asked to each read a portion of the fable, then the fable was re-edited together.

Paolino reminds the readers of that special moment in childhood when we deeply understand what we are learning contains contradictions and the education we are receiving can lead us far from our intimate desires. In Persuasion and Rhetoric (1910), Michelstaedter wrote:

The worst violence is exercised on children under the guise of affection and civil education. For with the promise of rewards and the threat of punishments that exploit their weakness, and with the caresses and fears that foster such weakness, far from the free life of the body, they adhere to the forms necessary to a polite family, those which, being hostile to their nature, must be forced on them by violence or corruption. Still more, faith itself, good will itself is exploited to society’s advantage.


Exhibition History:
Helicotrema Recorded Audio Festival, MACRO Museum of contemporary art, Rome, Italy. 2013.

RAI Radio 3 (National Public Radio, Italy). 2013.



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