Well, I wish I could scream out loud – through the hammer blows that rise as a painful music from the whole horizon –, I wish I could scream: let everyone create something with their hands, or their head, at every age, especially very young; let them learn the mysterious rules of structure and aesthetic composition – before any other rules – if you cherish freedom and society in the swiftest meteor that we call life (…)
From Corpo Celeste by Anna Maria Ortese
Danae Festival is twenty years old and this important anniversary prompts a reflection, a desire to ponder over the thoughts that guide our actions. During these years we have never stuck to a theme, or had watchwords to go by: our main goal is to make space for the “artistic matter”, for what it represents, for what it brings about, to give a contribution that can help as many human beings as possible to create with their hands or their head, to invent and imagine new worlds closer to the deepest needs of men and women, in the hope of a wide contagion.
We could say that our theme is: “there is no theme” – and we like to consider these words as a somewhat bold statement. For sure, we try and dare to offer this city projects that we believe have something to say, maybe imperfect, maybe controversial, without any claim to send out a message whatsoever, because we think art must be useless, but the most necessary of useless things. We also value the idea of offering people chances to gather in different places, whatever they are, theatres or other venues, inviting them to be literally “out and about”: to collect in a place, either closed or open – let’s call it a “square” – for a common goal, to recognize each other, to find themselves “out”, present with their bodies, and realize that many of us still need this kind of nourishment, still have taste, sensitiveness, curiousity. With the pioneering approach we have had since back in 1999, in this edition we will offer an even greater opportunity to look at our city with different eyes, taking you to either urban or non-urban locations, both in the city centre and in the outskirts, opening up the gates of ancient palaces and industrial areas, and finally ending in a swimming pool.
As witnesses of this important anniversary, we invited our masters – ours and of many other generations – to join us: the artists, both Italian and foreign, whose presence was crucial to our Festival, and that we have been following over the years, as well as the promising ones. More than ever we feel the need to keep the past together with the present and the future. This year Danae will also inaugurate a new section called Laterale, which will host projects with unusual formats that will investigate thoughts, obsessions, points of view, methods of creation. And last but not least, we decided to celebrate with a project that would highlight the people who have made this Festival. This is how we devised Vent’anni, 45 video-interviews to as many Italian artists who have taken part in Danae, whom we asked to tell us about their twenty-year-old selves. The result is a touching mosaic we will present on the 4th November, a day with many surprises and toasts that will mark the closing of our Festival.
Let’s all enjoy Danae Festival!
Alessandra De Santis