I was in Venice, 1980 to work with Filippo Di Sambuy and Marco Del Rey on a theatre production of the Bennendante by Carlos Ginsberg for the Biannale. It was about witch craft and magic in medieval times. It was my first time in Venice and I did not know my way around. So, the director GianCarlo Nanni was assigned to be my guide.
One evening after finishing late, I let GianCarlo guide me to the new place we were to lodge for the night. We talked at length along the way about the play and the subject of witchcraft. It was a moonless night with dark lengthy shadows sprawling along the narrow vicoli, cast by an occasional street lamp.
We turned down one such narrow causeway called Vicolo della Morte. At its end we arrived at a T in the maze of alley like corridors. GianCarlo hesitated, not sure which way to turn. Once he decided, we turned left and almost immediately appeared out of the shadows another passageway to our right. Totally black and foreboding. GianCarlo said “here we turn here,”and I hesitated. He said, “No its alright, this is the way,” and reached out to take my hand. I still felt hesitant. He pulled on my hand and half way into taking a step forward I felt as though someone had reached out and struck me hard in the chest, holding me fast to the spot in mid stride. I said, “no, this is not the way.” GianCarlo smiled and pulled again on my hand saying, “ no its okay, this is the way.” I yanked my hand free, knowing with absolute certainty not to take another step, turned on my heals and began walking as fast as I could out of the passage. I turned left and kept walking blindly. GianCarlo caught up with me asking, “where are you going?” I really didn’t speak, I just kept walking until he said, “stop, we are here!”
Blindly I had walked us directly to the house we were scheduled to stay at for the night.