Marinella Senatore, Modica Street Musical: The Present, the Past and the Possible, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Laveronica arte contemporanea.
Modica Street Musical –
The Present, the Past and the Possible
August 6–October 13, 2016
Opening: Saturday, August 6, 6:30pm
Laveronica arte contemporanea
via Grimaldi 93
97015, Modica, Sicily
Curated by Matteo Lucchetti
Galleria Laveronica is proud to present the new public work by Marinella Senatore Modica Street Musical – The Present, the Past and the Possible, a musical travelling around the city of Modica, with two acts and an intermezzo, curated by Matteo Lucchetti. The musical is entirely composed and interpreted with the collaboration of over a hundred inhabitants of Modica and the surrounding area.
Modica Street Musical is inspired by public ceremonies, the civil and religious rituals of the Italian tradition, and festivals and mass events, interweaving this intangible heritage with the format of the street musical. The choice of this kind of performance lends itself to reflections on the system of Western musical notation and its political implications, but it also gives space to the stories and leading players of the various artistic communities that animate Modica and it yields an image of the historical complexity of the area’s associations, composed of workers’ circles, bands, choruses and new social groups. The musical is used as a vessel of the aspirations, desires and transformations of a social body fragmented into its various components, which in the space of an evening begin to dialogue with each other through music and shared theatre that draws in an entire city.
Divided into three parts, the work devotes Act I to the present, catalyzing the action around the church of San Giovanni in Modica Alta, where dozens of formations will create a multifaceted performance with the intent of offering a sounding board to those who locally turn their energies to forming the new generations through music, dance and other activities. It is a great fresco of the city’s cultural liveliness, paying special attention to what brings people together and spawns a transitory community composed of people from very different walks of life.
Following a crier, a typical figure of popular theatre, the crowd of performers and spectators will descend towards the church of San Giorgio for the Intermezzo dedicated to the past. At this juncture, the past is evoked with a specific and limited function: not as a cumbersome and inhibiting legacy of alternative scenarios to the present, but in its capacity to bear witness to the evolutions of the social fabric through the historical transformations of such a unique territory in the Sicilian ecosystem: what was once known as the County of Modica. As Italian writer Leonardo Sciascia explains, this is a territory where the penetration of the Mafia came to a halt due to the area’s difficult orography and the presence of a proto-bourgeoisie that mitigated the class conflicts and differences that were so powerful throughout the rest of the island. A choice of stories, anecdotes and significant local historical events will be recited in the gardens under the church—by direct and indirect witnesses (storytellers, sign language interpreter, anarchists, among others) of those episodes—while on the parvis there will be a tableau vivant representing Modica’s social body, as if those movements were a direct consequence of the overlap of the stories being told.
The second and final act focuses on the possible, chosen as an alternative category to the future, underscoring the need for tangible actions that will stem from recognition of the existent and informed by the careful reading of what has been. Senatore thus invited the Italian composer Emiliano Branda to write a soundtrack about Modica, starting with materials collected through a request made to residents in June to send in all the sounds, memories and citations that, in their minds, form the sonorous backdrop of the city. The result is an original suite that illustrates the city and its potential, which will be performed for the first time by the Belluardo-Risadelli Band of the City of Modica in the final section heading to the staircase of the church of San Pietro in Modica Bassa, while a cinematic artificial snow will create a Fellini-like end to the show. The linchpin and grand finale of Act II, the Modica soundtrack is the legacy that Marinella Senatore’s public work is leaving to the population that so generously chose to participate in a musical about them and that would project to the outside the complexity of being together and forming a community today.
Throughout the work on the musical, the space of the gallery was transformed into a workshop open to participants and anyone who wanted to use it to make proposals and intervene in the dramaturgy of the work. The resulting exhibition is thus a space in which the artist’s previous works and new productions appear as documents and reference materials for the planning of the Modica Street Musical, as well as representing a space for reflection on the musical as a mise-en-scène of the relationship between spectacle and life, based on the continuity existing between music and the everyday lives of the local protagonists.
The Modica Street Musical has been possible thanks to the collaboration of hundreds of participants and the following associations and institutions: Ars Musica Ensemble, ASD Tersicore, Associazione Culturale Gli Armonici Di Elvira Mazza, Associazione Portatori di San Giorgio Modica, A.S.D. Twirling Club Scicli, Banda Musicale Città di Modica “Belluardo-Risadelli” (conductor: Corrado Civello), Civica filarmonica di Modica (conductor: Francesco Di Pietro), Comune di Modica, Coro Monti Iblei, Coro Polifonico “Claudio Monteverdi” of Modica (conductor: Orazio Baglieri), Ente Nazionale Sordi Sezione provinciale di Ragusa, Gomez Crew, GSD Medea Siracusa, Liceo Musicale G. Verga di Modica, Op3ra, “Quelli” della Banca del Tempo Iblea, SAVA&SAVA Comunicazione, Sicilia Libertaria, Vitality di Modica.