As performed in the Canaletto-like panorama of the Campo dell’Arsenale, Il Corso del Coltello was the paradigm for the ebullient process of discovering cultural and physical properties of a site that could be transformed into the equivalent of a largescale project. The ultimate summation of the complex Venetian environment was one image -- the Knife Ship -- which was launched from the ancient naval yard, raising and lowering its blades and corkscrew while rotating its oars. Within the panorama, contending forces swirled in many disguises, reflected in the characters and props. Spectators had the chance to see objects and performers in action, eclipsing one another or embedded within props. Many of the characters were hampered in their movements, which were often repeated over and over: Basta Carambola in wooden leggings, recalling the pool table on which he played; Châteaubriand, the front end of a lion, carved from soft foam, concealing a performer; or the
two performers sitting in a large fish head that was rolled about, with only their eyes visible through a hole. Objects and human beings seemed engaged in an ongoing tug-of-war.
In the aftermath -- the performance was presented only three times to a total of 1,500 people -- certain props were sidelined, receding from view after the performance itself. Other strong, mnemonic images, like the costumes of the leading characters, Dr. Coltello, Georgia Sandbag, and Frankie P. Toronto, or the Architectural Fragments and the Houseball, in their strong reverberations of implied movement, plasticity, and painterly qualities, especially through the skin-like appearance of their canvas surfaces, became soft sculptures larger than life. (1)