Mercantia 2021 - …thence we came forth to rebehold the stars
For the artistic concept of the Mercantia 2021 festival, we have selected the final verse of the Inferno, from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Having toiled to cross the dungeon natural linking Hell to the shores of Ante-Purgatory, Dante and Virgil finally contemplate the starry night sky of the other hemisphere: it is an omen of the new path of light and hope after the previous darkness, “as pure happiness of the gaze”.
We too live in the daily hope of rebeholding the stars. We have definitely not yet achieved Paradise, although a splendid starry sky presiding over Mercantia could be a great sign of hope towards a new springtime of our lives.
As we have constructed the schedule, we have considered our audience's quest – like everyone else’s – for a return to normal, to find in our festival, and in themselves, the environment and vision they already know in part, in which they recognise themselves, as in the finest tradition of regular festivals, with their own code of aesthetics. There is a need for certainty and reconfirmation, a need for stability and a territory not consisting of change, of discovery that the world is still turning…
The cinema and theatre have their stars, as does Mercantia: all the companies whose performances have always sold out. At the same time, they are also stars of the Fourth Theatre in Italy, so many are their names and those symbolic groups, inextricably linked to the imagination of our festival…
2021 also marks the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, so we have linked a number of specific projects to the life and work of the Supreme Poet. The Divine Comedy is also an esoteric text, full of multiple evocations and meanings we wish to extrapolate, to create emotive images along a visual journey.
This year is also the centenary of the birth of Giulietta Masina, the star of La strada, focused on street artists and directed by her life partner Federico Fellini. We would like to commemorate her with a performance by Federico Pieri entitled Fellinik, a tribute to Fellini’s mastery in typical Amarcord style, for Giulietta with an itinerant trumpeter intoning “Tema di Gelsomina” from La strada at the end of the night.
In Piazza SS. Annunziata and along Via Boccaccio, the crafts market will be revisited. In the upper town (atop the walls), we will be establishing a protective artistic presence, consisting of angels and other art installations such as large-format paintings.