Planking for Pascoli in Barga

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planking for pascoli in piazza angelio barga italyThere might have been some high culture taking place in Barga this week with the sounds of Vivaldi seeping out of open windows in the castle as Opera Barga prepares the Operabarga festival later on this week but in Piazza Angelio this evening it was culture of the lowest form possible as a group of performance artists put on a brief show for the people eating at the L’osteria, most of whom seemed to have had problems understanding just what was happening in front of them as the first ever mass planking session was created in this area.

Just to make it more interesting (and probably in an attempt to raise the cultural level slightly) according to their group spokesman, they were actually “Planking for Pascoli”  as all were proudly wearing t-shirts with the face of the poet Giovanni Pascoli.

Quite what Pascoli had to do with planking was somewhat difficult to pin down but as quickly as they had arrived and started laying down, suddenly they had all disappeared again and the piazza was once again back to normal …. or was it ?


Planking for Pascoli in Piazza Angelio in Barga Vecchia

The phenomenon of planking involves lying face down in a public place – the stranger the better – and posting photos on social networking sites such as Facebook. Aficionados lie expressionless with a straight body, hands by their sides and toes pointing into the ground.

Two groups claim to have invented the prank – either in Somerset, UK in 2000 as the “lying down game” or eight years later in South Australia as planking. Both groups have rival Facebook sites boasting more than 100,000 fans.

Planking has grown in popularity, particularly in Australia where there has been huge media coverage. An Australian rugby league player David “Wolfman” Williams celebrates scoring by planking, while one of the nation’s leading chatshow hosts Kerri-Anne Kennerley opened a show recently by planking on the TV sofa.

In the same week police served a trespass notice on a man caught planking on a squad car.

Rules of Planking

According to the official Facebook page, the following rules should be kept in mind:

1. You must always lay face down, ensuring your face remains expressionless for the duration of the Plank.
2. Your legs must remain straight, and together with toes pointed.
3. Your arms must be placed by your side, held straight and fingers pointed.
4. You must make it known that you are Planking. Saying ‘I am Planking’ usually get this across. Sternly announcing it will ensure a good result.
5. Your safety should always be considered. Properly thought through Planking procedures should always go to plan. Never put your self at undue risk.
6. Every Plank that is captured must be named.

Despite its Australian popularity, the earliest practitioners were Gary Clarkson and Christian Langdon in 2000, who started lying down in public places in Taunton, UK in order to be photographed. They called it the lying down game.

Giovanni Placido Agostino Pascoli

(December 31, 1855—April 6, 1912) was an Italian poet and classical scholar
His earlier poems look simple, and focus particularly on domestic life and nature. However, Pascoli, even in that period of Positivism and scientism, believes that life is a mystery; only symbolic associations discovered in the humble things of nature can lead man to catch a glimpse of the truth behind mere appearances.

His later poems share similar themes but are more experimental, and reflect his knowledge of classical antiquity. They were a great influence on later Italian poets, who incorporated his melancholy themes into their own works. He wrote in both Italian and Latin; he also translated English poetry. His numerous poems in Latin gained many international awards.

In 1897 Pascoli issued a detailed definition of his poetical stance, which he called poetica del fanciullino (“youngster’s poetics”) and which showed the influence of Sully and von Hartmann. Poetry, according to Pascoli, would be the unceasing capability to get stunned by the world, typical of childhood, secondarily connected to the expressive capabilities of the aged. In a refusal of both Classicism and Romanticism, Pascoli opposed both the renunciation of self-analysis and the abandonment of the self-centered point of view, in favour of a semi-irrational comfort which the poet gives himself through poetry.


planking for pascoli in piazza angelio barga italyQuesta settimana si respira cultura nell’aria di Barga, in particolare con le note di Opera Barga che tra le prove ed i concerti in programma fa risuonare il castello di note soavi.

In Piazza Angelio stasera sì è però toccato il livello più basso con un gruppo di performance artist che hanno improvvisato un breve show per i clienti dell’osteria, la maggior parte dei quali ha avuto dei problemi a capire di cosa si trattasse, dato che era la prima sessione di planking mai realizzata nella zona.

Per rendere la performance più interessante (e forse per alzare il livello culturale dell’operazione), gli artisti in questione hanno fatto planking per Giovanni Pascoli, indossando fieramente magliette con il faccione del poeta.

Cosa c’entrasse Pascoli con il planking è difficile da capire, dato che come improvvisamente sono arrivati, altrettanto velocemente gli artisti sono spariti e la piazza è tornata alla sua normalità. O quasi.

Il fenomeno del palnking (dal sostantivo asse, tavola quindi letteralmente fare la tavola, “attavolarsi”) prevede che ci si debba stendere a faccia in giù in luoghi pubblici per poi postare le foto dell’evento su social network come Facebook.

I veri artisti di questa assurda disciplina restano stesi senza espressione con il corpo rigido, le braccia lungo il corpo e la punta dei piedi rigida per alcuni interminabili minuti.

Due gruppi in particolare rivendicano l’invenzione di questa pratica, uno dal Somerset, UK, che nel 2000 ha lanciato il “lying down game”, e l’altro dell’Australia, da cui deriva il nome attuale di planking.

Entrambi i gruppi comunque hanno pagine facebook che raccolgono più di 100mila fan.

Il planking ha guadagnato popolarità particolarmente in Australia, dove i media ne hanno a lungo parlato; David “Wolfman” Williams, giocatore di rugby di serie A, festeggia ogni suo punto con il planking, mentre uno dei più seguiti talk show australiani ha aperto una puntata del programma con una sessione di planking.
Nella stessa settimana la polizia ha accusato di violazione un uomo che stava facendo planking proprio sulla loro auto.

Regole del planking:

Stando alla pagina ufficiale di facebook, queste sono le regole per un buon planking:

1. Sempre stendersi a faccia in giù, e rigorosamente senza espressione sul volto.
2. le gambe devono rimanere dritte, unite e con i piedi distesi.
3. le braccia devono essere stese lungo il corpo, distese così come le mani.
4. far sapere che si sta facendo planking. Dire “sto facendo planking” di solito è sufficiente. Dirlo in modo brusco funziona ancora meglio.
5. la sicureazza viene prima di tutto: progettare come e dove fare planking, e soprattutto mai mettersi rischio.
6. Ogni sessione deve vere un nome.


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It’s important that our visitors understand that none of the plankers has ever been seen in Piazza Angelio before. They are clearly outside agitators. What’s more, at least one of the suspects is known to have close relations with the People’s Republic of China, and may be part of an elaborate conspiracy to destabilize the Italian culinary industry. Yet another, whose name cannot be mentioned in this publication, has confirmed links to law enforcement groups, possibly intersecting with Masonic circles.

maria elena



Ecco. C’e la conferma.