Displace Altofest

After seven editions, held in different areas and districts of Naples, our city, the MalteseSpecial Edition was the first attempt to en-graft Altofest into a new social and human fabric. By accepting this challenge of inaugurating Altofest’s in Malta, the festival passed through the same path, usually crossed by the participating artists: the extraction/abstraction of the work from ‘its own’ place and the exposition in someone else’s space. Therefore, we decided to investigate these dynamics of ‘displacement’, looking on the one hand at the works and processes of artistic creation in the context of Altofest and, on the other, to the festival itself in Malta. Thus we took the chance to think about the continuity and at the same time the novelties which would have characterized the Maltese Edition.

First of all, this is not a catalogue. Not one of those catalogues which are produced on the occasion of exhibitions, expositions, or other similar events, before they take place. This does not even reflect a will to report on an episode which has inspired the production of the pages you are reading. What this work may be considered is a map representing not the reality, but the experience of it. This book is the ‘precipitate’ of experience: that of the special edition of Altofest, held in Malta in April and May 2018.

Since 2011, Altofest has always taken place in Naples. It is a unique event both in Italy and especially in the city. It is hard to define labels it. Altofest has not the characteristics of a given type or genre: it is not public art, it is not street theatre, and it is not urban dance; it is not land art and it is not apartment theatre or teatro dei luoghi (theatre of places). You can only try Altofest. If you think you are going to assist shows for a few spectators in someone’s house, you are mistaking the meaning of the extra-communitarian festival ideated and managed by TeatrInGestAzione, the company led by Anna Gesualdi and Giovanni Trono, directors of Altofest.