Volcano Extravaganza: Fiorucci's Free Form Festival
In the light of our new AW15 Collection, Tephra, which was inspired by volcanic patterns and the forces of nature, we've found this collection's art festival counterpart: Volcano Extravaganza in Stromboli.
Described as "a series of ephemeral and fortuitous events based on improvisation and chance to be staged on the volcanic island of Stromboli," the festival is a true celebration of all things art. The aim of the festival is to promote experimentation and exploration comparing various fibres of our contemporary world and an imagined one.
"The hybrid set of personalities involved and the way in which they present their experience will explore, through breaks and discontinuities, a succession of exchanges between different poles of time and place."
The festival offers DJ appearances, performance artists, installations, screenings, temporary exhibitions, installations, and round table discussions all on an active volcano.
Conceived out of Nicoletta Fiorucci's artistic mind, the festival first began in 2011. Nicoletta's admiration for art and the island's history, however, extend much further back.
The island of Stromboli was first popularised in Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, published in 1864. Indicating that volcanos were direct links to the earth's core, Verne mentions a journey on the volcanic island of Stromboli.
The novel was then adapted into a film in the 1950s, drawing a wealthy crowd to reside on the island. Stromboli served as a desirable holiday location for the fashionable crowd until it's sloping surfaces and active status proved to risky an investment for its residents; after all, it had earned the nickname "The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" due to it's consistent eruptions over the past 2,000 years.
The island became a tourist destination after a massive eruption in 2002, where half of the island's settlement was submerged in a tsunami. The island is now navigated by golf carts and scooters and at night is only visible by the light of a torch. Boats cruise by, but the island is (intentionally) only made accessible to small boats. This ancient island is a unique force of nature and made Nicoletta Fiorucci fall in love.
The Fiorucci name has quite a history, too - both Roman and Milanese Fioruccis. The Fioruccis of Milan invented stretch jeans and imported fashion from London to Milan; but we're not talking about them. The Fioruccis of Rome, where Nicoletta descends from, are known for their ham legacy. Nicoletta has not carried on her ham hock heir, but rather dipped her fingers into art. Her dabbling with art collecting began in her twenties, when she grew an interest in the Masters of Italian artistry.
"Collecting is a constant exploration, a research entailing risks and with no end point. [It's] a way to learn, for me and for those around me." - Nicoletta Fiorucci
Fiorucci in London, December 2013
As time passed, contemporary art spoke to her and she started the Fiorucci Art Trust in 2010. An adventurous and tasteful collector, Nicoletta does not like to be compared to her peers, who she claims 'buy the artist' when they buy pieces.
When curating the volcanic fiesta, she thinks globally and graciously, seeking new talent and critics from diverse backgrounds; artists that fit her spontaneous aesthetic. In fact, her entire festival started in light of her spontaneity, when she purchased two homes on the island (which later became exhibition sites and inspiration for many of the hosted artists). When asked why she chose Stromboli as the location for the festival, Fiorucci said she loved the affect the remoteness and the combination of the elements had on the artists. It was completely unplanned and have no demands on the artists, and it was pure free form expression that prompted the yearly extravaganza.
Art by Celia Hempton in Nicoletta's second residence on the island.
Fiorucci lets her artists reside in her homes for the duration of the festival. All security and order for the residences is played by ear, like the structure (or intentional lack of) at the festival. There are no expectations and Fiorucci describes the success of the program in that "'failure' is a possibility. We encourage the artists we work with to focus on developing ideas: this is more valuable than putting pressure on the 'promise' of an outcome." The festival is even described as an 'artist-run season of art.' The biggest value of the extravaganza is the act and the power of exchanging ideas. Fiorucci carries out the yearly gathering solely to support collaborative projects on the remote island.
From Mathilde Rosier's performance, "Abstracting Attraction"
Each year, the festival has a theme. The first year was a total experiment. 2012, proved to be another rich lineup of artists and began to bring the production together. 2013 was the first year to officially declare the theme, which was "Evil Under the Sun." Taking inspiration from the 1982 film of Agatha Christie's novel, Evil Under the Sun. 2014 was deemed "Forget Amnesia," expanding the festival from London to Stromboli. This year's extravaganza, "In Favour of a Total Eclipse," was named after the first night of the festival coincided with a new moon.
If there is any festival to attend, this is the one. Book your tickets to Stromboli because this explosive extravaganza is not to be missed. Check out the website here. Thank god Nicoletta Fiorucci didn't stick to ham.