About 

Altofest 

HOW DOES IT WORKS

THE SPACES

The spaces in which Altofest takes place are private homes, of various nature, of different sizes, located in different neighborhoods of the city.

Some extra-domestic places are added, spaces that are often representative of the city, that are in various ways frequented and/or personally cared for by resident citizens

ARTISTIC RESIDENCE AND HOSPITALITY

The artists are hosted in the homes of resident citizens, whom we call “space donors”. Citizens and artists live together for a total of two weeks, which includes a period of artistic residency and the following opening of the works to the public.

The artists therefore stay and work in the same space: informal, domestic, daily.

The scheduled artists have the task of questioning and rewriting their work by relying on the elements present in the spaces that host them.

PROGRAMMING AND PARTICIPATION

The public opening usually lasts 5 days and takes up almost the whole day; offering to his community an immersive experience.

All interventions are free of charge, by reservation.

The Altofest program is mostly international.

The original works belong to the field of live art (theater, dance, performance, and their interdisciplinary and experimental variations).

The artistic interventions alternate with in-depth meetings, public moments of debate: many activities of a hybrid, documentary, speculative, convivial nature.

As a poietic act and political exercise, Altofest has to be participated and not consumed. The spectators are therefore an active part and responsible for its success, as the organizers, the citizens who donate space, the artists, the expert guests, the staff, thanks to which Altofest can happen and can be offered for free as a gift.

SOCIAL KITCHEN

A place where the community comes together to share food and thoughts – at mid-day; an interval between performances, during which people eat all together. It is also where the “Voice Over” takes place: a meeting dedicated to the analysis of the works of the artists.

The kitchen service is committed to different organizations that employ people who live in marginal conditions. Altofest supports these organizations by taking on the entire cost of meals for the whole community (artists, space donors, staff, cultural experts, volunteers).

THE DEVICE

The Hovering City

Altofest is built with the participation of resident citizens, who host national and international artists in their homes.

Every citizen who participates in the project is its structural and founding part, not user or recipient, but an agent of the process; they take care of the work of art, and the artist in turn takes care of his host and his community of reference.

Altofest combines the intimate dimension of houses with the aesthetic and poetic dimension of works and artistic processes that citizens welcome in their domestic spaces. The work of art breaks into everyday life, letting the poetic part of existence to emerge.

The basic elements of the device are therefore its community and the ideal geography that takes shape from it: a hybrid dimension that brings together territories and people. What we call the “hovering city” is founded by the permanence of connections over time, the frequency of relationships, and the persistence of the space that the community “inhabits”.

 

To Give Rise 

The project was born in Naples in 2011, conceived by TeatrInGestAzione, as an act of artistic and political resistance, with the aim of GIVING PLACE to a large and heterogeneous community, generating a critical thought.

Altofest activates a transversal process, which calls to dialogue all the social components of the urban fabric in which it engages; aiming at overcoming roles, in favour of choral participation, of a total experience that generates “unprecedented relationships”. This is caused by a semantic interference between the flow of daily life and the accomplishment of artistic creation in the domestic space. The daily life is permeated by the foreign vision, where the bearer are the diversified languages ​​of the live arts that are hosted in the program. This gives rise to a shared space of risk, where the community has the opportunity to meet and speak in a common language, to be re-generated.

The overcoming of territorial and cultural distances is possible thanks to a single collective ritual, that spreads equally in all the houses, which becomes the space of artistic residence. Every single relationship between artist and citizen becomes a particular experience of that housing cell, but at the same time is part of a common, lasting and extensive poetic action, which by contact spreads to the social circles and all the communities of reference of the residents, generating an unprecedented dynamic in an urban space.

Every single relationship between artist and citizen becomes a distinct experience of that house-cell, but at the same time, it is part of a common, lasting and extensive poetic action, which by contact spreads to the social circles and communities of reference of the residents, generating unprecedented dynamics in urban space. The foreign artist, the guest, welcomed with a legitimate purpose (the creation of a work of art) brings light on the deposited glances that lie on the always flowing stream of faces, clothes, means of transport, acquaintances, relatives. The questions that emerge with each new contact, so the news of the imminent event and its daily preparation spreads everywhere.

The citizen who hosts the foreign artist in his home for two weeks – which in turn becomes a public space by opening up to the observers – he/she finds himself/herself living in alien space, albeit with familiar forms, where the borders of public and private spaces are blurred. The inhabitant who donates his home and time takes a proactive position, a perspective posture, that is no longer passive compared to his community, in which not he is not asking anymore but acting and finally opening the door of the house to a public event. An unusual movement of people then moves the city. From one place to another on the map of events, spontaneous groups of visitors organise themselves into unusual itineraries, separating and reuniting at every corner to share the Altofest experience. The voices multiply on the streets, bringing images, narrations, opinions. An interstitial emotional map of urban space emerges, poetically inhabited.

Experimental Sociality

Altofest is a human-specific project of experimental sociality that is based on values such as proximity, gift, hospitality. It is not just a matter of hosting work in your own home, but of letting the daily presence of an artist at work contaminate the vision of those who live or cross that same space. The artist’s creative urgency merges with the needs of his guest, in a dialogue that redefines the work, the signs that make it up, as well as the inhabited space and the objects that define it as “familiar”.

The gift is the bond through which the seizure of one follows the seizure of the other. The work, displaced, deprived of the conditions guaranteed by the formal space for which it was born, lives in a new space, its geometries, and its memory. The private sector is no longer private, but a place for shared intimacy.

 

Opera sistema

The device is conceived as a performance in the shape of a festival. His dramaturgy corresponds to the plot of itineraries and routes that guide the inhabitant of the Fest in an orchestrated succession of urban landscapes and domestic intimacy that are crossed by artistic interventions.

The live dramaturgy of the fest is corresponded by the tracing of a proliferating reflection, which germinates from the experiences to which Altofest gives rise and which settles year after year through a series of dialogues, opportunities for discussion, words, and writings.

The curatorial perspective on which Altofest is drawn on, originates from meticulous attention to the one-to-one relationship that is established between artist and donor, letting the generative potential of this meeting spread to the system of relationships within which each one moves, through the different layers of inhabiting.

The theme of each edition is defined by analyzing the contents and the recurring aesthetic directions of the selected works. These are intertwined with the poetic-political questions embedded in the device itself. For this reason, we speak of a composition “by emersion” of the dramaturgy of Altofest: we do not want to have a predetermined definition of the thematic orientation of each edition. The high number of proposals that we receive every year and the global range of the places where they come from, allows us to keep reading, attentive observers of political and aesthetic issues, which circulate between the continents and move different paths of artistic research. Therefore, the composition of the works generates a field of reflection and debate on the reasons of the poetics that are exposed in the selected works.

  

Places of Thought

The processing of the theoretical questions that emerge from the experience of the device is entrusted to the Co.R (Research Community), composed of authors, researchers and scholars, bearers of multiple perspectives and skills who are invited to inspire reflective practices and spaces for discussion, involving and challenging the Composite Community of the Fest.

Texture is a platform animated by operators and cultural experts (project managers, festival and festival directors, representatives of institutions and artistic organizations), invited to dialogue, compare and share projects, visions, and cultural practices.

 

Premiato dall’EFA (European Festival Association) con l’EFFE AWARD 2017-18 (Europe for Festivals Festivals for Europe), risultando tra i sei migliori festival d’Europa. Nel 2018 è inserito come best practice nel rapporto annuale “Io sono cultura 2018”, a cura di Fondazione Symbola.
Sempre nel 2018 il Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali gli assegna il bollino “Anno Europeo del Patrimonio”. Vincitore dei bandi Funder35 (2016); SIAE-Sillumina (2017); Allianz Kulturstiftung (2019).

Nel 2018 Altofest esce per la prima volta dai confini di Napoli, inaugurando una serie di edizioni speciali, commissionate da diverse Capitali Europee della Cultura: Altofest Malta 2018 per Valletta 2018 ECoC; Altofest Matera-Basilicata 2019 per Matera 2019 ECoC; mentre è già in previsione un’edizione per Kaunas 2022 ECoC. Altofest si configura di fatto come connettore di un network “spontaneo” fra le città che condividono questo titolo.

Altofest è un progetto indipendente, basato sulla sua comunità diffusa. Vive del dono dei membri di TeatrInGestAzione sotto forma di tempo, competenze e denaro (nella misura delle proprie possibilità), del dono dei cittadini che offrono spazio e accoglienza, degli artisti che condividono la propria opera, dello staff, dei volontari, della partecipazione di alcune sane realtà locali, di professionisti e studiosi, e di esperti culturali, nazionali e internazionali, che offrono le proprie competenze e i propri strumenti intrecciando le proprie visioni con quelle di Altofest.

Le edizioni dal 2017 al 2019, sono state parzialmente sostenute da Funder35/Fondazione con il Sud; SIAE-Sillumina.

L’edizione 202X è parzialmente sostenuta dalla Fondazione Allianz Kulturstiftung e dall’Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Napoli.