Iorio / Cuomo

a selection
of past and ongoing projects:

Chronicles of that time
Undead Voices
Appunti del passaggio
From thousands of possibilities
Twisted Realism
Towards a history
of the vanishing present


A cinema situation
Unfinished histories

About / Contact

Twisted Realism


a body of works:

Photographs and collected documents: Le pause


Exhibition views

Twisted Realism is a body of interconnected works including the feature-length video of the same title, photographs, collected documents, and vintage objects presented autonomously or in an architectural display. The project takes Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Mamma Roma (1962) as a starting point for research into the intertwined histories of urbanisation, migration and cinema in the period of  “economic miracle” in Italy – an epoch marked by the reorganisation of capitalism, increasing consumption, new economical and cultural influences, a large national migration, and the emergence of new technologies of vision in the form of television. It investigates the forms and conditions of “a new life” through the process of modernisation that Pasolini addressed in his film – and also the current status of Pasolini’s film itself, recently restored and commercialised in a digital form.

The video revisits some locations from the filming of Mamma Roma and embodies a new, singular geography of contemporary Rome and its historical peripheries. It investigates the urban development of the INA-Casa Tuscolano district, a significant location for Pasolini’s film, where the protagonists move into a new house and aspire to a new life. This large-scale social housing project was realised between 1950 and 1960 in the framework of a national plan instigated by the Christian democratic government. Twisted Realism includes archive material reviewed and filmed in Bologna (Cineteca Bologna, Centro Studi, Archivio Pier Paolo Pasolini) and in three film archives in Rome, which depicts this neighbourhood in contradictory modes. Twisted Realism deconstructs the documentary and propagandistic logic of these films and examines their contrasting “aesthetics of reality”.

A polyphony of voices recounts the scenario of Mamma Roma as well as different aspects of its production and distribution, unfolding the historical context in which the film is inscribed. The readers – including actor Giuseppe Cederna, scholar and queer activist WARBEAR and filmmaker Carlo di Carlo, who was Pasolini’s assistant during the shooting of Mamma Roma – perform fragments of texts related to the film: the written screenplay that reveals differences between the initial project and the final editing of the film; related diary and poems; the literary version of Mamma Roma published afterwards. Personal archival material and memories help to recall the situation on set as well as the historical reception of the film – aspects that manifest political moments within broader cinematic agency and remind of the violent death of young Marcello Elisei in a Roman prison, an event that supposedly inspired the end of Pasolini’s fiction.

Twisted Realism also points to the institutional framework of the current commercial exploitation of Mamma Roma and its status at the moment of transfer from film to digital culture – the recent restoration of Pasolini’s film and its release within the Cinema Forever DVD anthology by Medusa Film (a subcompany of the Mediaset Group). It evokes the commodification of 1960s Italian art cinema as a result of the privatisation of culture and the monopolisation of the mediascape, as well as how Mamma Roma was used in order to write a unifying version of the national history. Twisted Realism comments on the mercantile discourse on the “glorious Italian cinema of the 1960s” and examines anew what is at stake in “bringing the past into the present” (Medusa Film). It manifests the aftermaths of the modernisation process of the time, and reconstructs the power relations and state violence that gave a decisive impulsion to Pasolini’s project.


Twisted Realism

a film by Raphaël Cuomo and Maria iorio

Giuseppe Cederna
Francesco Macarone Palmieri aka WARBEAR (readers)
Carlo di Carlo (the assistant director)
Franco Iacoangeli (Franco er Trovatore)
Antonietta Iorio (an ambiguous woman)
Elena Nunziata Taranto (commentator)

camera and editiing
Raphaël Cuomo and Maria iorio

Gilles Aubry

additional sound recordings
Nicolas Field
Stéphane Montavon

Donatello Della Pepa
Federico Giacinti
Fulvio Risuelo


John Welsh
Pascal Bircher
Maria iorio

Il Minotauro
written, arranged and mixed by silvia Trix in Trastudio
Mastering by untitled studio, October 2010, Roma
curated by WARBEAR

Carlo di Carlo reads a fragment of the transcript of his interview
by the authors (Roma, June 2011) and a few excerpts of his diary:
Diario di lavorazione del film Mamma Roma
Published in Teoria e tecnica del film in Pasolini, a cura di Antonio Bertini, Bulzoni, 1979, and in "L'Europa letteraria", III, n. 17, ottobre 1962, Roma

with the kind collaboration of
Centro studi – Archivio Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cineteca di Bologna
Archivio del movimento operaio e democratico, roma
Archivio storico Luce, Roma
Archivio centrale dello stato, Roma

with the support of
Erna und Curt Burgauer Stiftung
George Foundation
Fonds cantonal d’art contemporain, Genève
Fonds d’art contemporain de la ville de Genève
République et Canton du Jura

Angelo Abbatangelo, Katrin Albrecht, Anthropos Associazione culturale (Tor Sapienza, Roma), Gilles Aubry, Giacomo Bernasconi, Matteo di Castro, Centro Sociale Spartaco (Tuscolano, Roma), Luigi D’Andrea, Donatello Della Pepa, Nicolas Field, Nicolas Freitag, Federico Giacinti, Armando Lombardi, Lucha y Siesta - Action diritti in movimento (Roma), Paola Maraga, Isidoro Marcelli, Stéphane Montavon, Francesco Nappi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fulvia Patrizi, Pier Paolo Perazzetti, Fiorenza Pina, Shopon Rahman, Christoph Riedweg, Fulvio Risuleo, Roberto Rossellini, Marc-Olivier Schatz, Andreas Schatzmann, Robert Schlicht, Romana Schmalisch, Tony Stio, Nicolas Tripet, Alice Sotgia, John Welsh, Claudia Zloteanu

special thanks
Andrea Cinel, Patrick Gosatti, Tobias Hering, Pierre-André Lienhard, Noah Stolz, Andrea Thal, Jean-Marc Voisard
Carlo di Carlo
Antonietta Iorio
Claudio Olivieri