Maranola is near Formia, and overlooks the Gulf of Gaeta from the Aurunci Mountains – a lively, spirited place with a busy schedule of events linked primarily to local tradition, as is often the case in the local villages. Maranola, however, is also a project, a festival and an idea which - thanks to the work of Marianna Fazzi and Isabella Indolfi – brings contemporary art into contact with the narrow streets, local people and old stone houses. “The symbol of Seminaria Sogninterra is an upside-down tree”, the two curators tell me, explaining that the reasoning behind this reversal of perspective derives from talent having its roots in the air and expanding its branches into the ground: the country as muse and museum, and a search for an art which is environmental, public and relational. “We invite the artists here for a residency of a few weeks, to get to know the town. We put them up in the local houses, let them learn about the places and people so they can get a sense of each other. And finally, we provide them with the materials and they give us what they produce”.
The Festival, which was founded in 2011 and is now in its third edition (it has been biennial since 2012), has already welcomed about forty artists. It is gradually working towards the creation of a museo diffuso - a museum housed in several sites around the town - which aims to make Maranola a centre for art as well as for inspiration. As well as the locals, who are both active participants and beneficiaries, and who give their support to the artists, the local council is also involved, as are local associations (Dimore al Borgo, Amanda, the Salamandrina network), sponsors and curators (in previous years Giulia Magliozzi and Fabrizio Pizzuto), all with the aim of realising educational projects, concerts, plays, courses, forums, debates, and fringe theatre in addition to the festival itself. And so, as well as being a country town, Maranola becomes miniature sheep, installations on the hill, lights in the alleyways, cushions along the walls, ink, fingerprints, fireflies, chalk, flag-waving battles and noise: an artistic experience of sharing, creation and knowledge.
The story of Seminaria has been written by Elisa Casseri, writer.
Marianna Fazzi and Isabella Indolfi's project is an “upside-down tree” which promotes art in the town of Maranola.