Marco Pitzalis

The Berlusconi Series: Silvio Vs. The Victims


BBC, “Silvio Berlusconi Reacts to L’Aquila Earthquake,” (7 April, 2009)

A man so pure and extreme, like the idiot character conjured by Dostoyevsky, a man endowed with the enchanted eye of a child — a man like that exists! He suffers an extraordinary condition: “Headquakes” — spontaneous discharges of words, words from deep in the magma chamber of his soul, shuddering upward, something very natural, like a natural disaster, his mouth emitting shrill sounds that carry the lilt of banality and the strength of a revealed truth, yet without any awareness of their emission.

Headquakes can be experienced as clarity of mind or great excitement, and are traditionally the symptoms of insanity, heroism, or sanctity. They can also be produced by deep stupidity. The man’s infantile glance — always creating a playful atmosphere around him, even in the most formal and dramatic situations — remind us that life is a game (and he the ontological winner). His bemused expression can turn the evacuation of a city destroyed by earthquake into a happy week-end of camping, or a deadly war into an entertaining diversion with people blowing up like pop-corn. Is he a fool? No. He is an Artist. A Genius. A Holy Man. The Idiot.

- Marco Pitzalis

Ryeberg Curator Bio

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Marco Pitzalis was born in Cagliari in late November, 1963. The entire world, at that moment, was thinking of President Kennedy’s death, so Pitzalis’ birth passed unnoticed. As the decades passed, he noticed that all high points in his life continued to be obscured by their coincidence with great historical events. Nonetheless, he quietly made his way. As an undergrad in Cagliari, Italy, Pitzalis achieved excellent grades in Philosophy; he went on to a PhD in Sociology at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. One day, in the faculty washroom, Pitzalis encountered the great Philosophe Derrida, who proceeded to use the toilet after him. Pitzalis believed this event to be charged with deep, transformative symbolism. Then in the year 2000, as the spray of the burst stock market bubble was still settling, he sold his shares—a minute too late, and he understood that at last he had consummated a divorce between himself and history. History no longer collides with his personal triumphs. Today Pitzalis teaches sociology at the glorious University of Cagliari in Sardinia. His presence is duly noticed by a handful of devoted students.