Pesaro 2024’s “Capital of Culture” welcomes SPARK, iconic narrative of the “The Nature of Culture”‘

A park. The night. Silence. Then thousands of luminous sparks. They sway in the air. It’s awe, wonder. Pesaro, the Italian Capital of Culture welcomes SPARK, artist Daan Roosegaarde‘s poetic installation, in the city’s urban park from March 22nd to 24th, from 8 PM to 11 PM, when thousands of small organic and biodegradable fireworks will float in the air wrapped in the early spring nights to narrate the art, technology, and sustainability of “The Nature of Culture” of Pesaro 2024. BPER Banca is the special partner for the three-day performance. “We are very proud,” says Mayor Matteo Ricci, “to host such an important event of global stature. A unique spectacle that will amaze us, excite us, leave us speechless, with its suggestions and explosions of colors and lights, illuminating the sky of our beautiful Miralfiore Park. A poetic experience that will ‘reconcile’ us with nature, the protagonist of our Italian Capital of Culture. It will be an extraordinary postcard of Pesaro 2024, to be sent out into the world.” For Ricci, “Fireflies are a symbol of our childhood, but also indicators of environmental quality. This sky is a warning, so that of the Italian Capital of Culture will be a year where we relaunch the culture of sustainability. There’s no plan B, there’s no Planet B: we all have the responsibility to do our part to counteract climate change.” 

The artist was inspired by the magical light of fireflies and the desire to make the ritual of fireworks more current and sustainable. The result is SPARK, a performance that invites visitors to marvel and reflect. In a pure and ancestral way, direct, “capable of reconnecting individuals, among themselves and with the environment,” explains Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Beauty Daniele Vimini, SPARK will be one of the strongest narratives of “The Nature of Culture” of Pesaro 2024. Driven by childish, naive, and primitive wonder, it will urge us to reconnect with our origins, making us reflect. Providing an experience that will be a collective heritage for current and future generations. “The project,” Vimini reminds us, “has been one of the pillars of the Capital’s dossier from the outset. 2024 will be punctuated by other sensational moments – such as Kagami, by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum (August 29th/September 11th) and The Life by Marina Abramović (June) – European or national premieres that will be unforgettable, like the experience of SPARK at Miralfiore. A place chosen because it is a symbol of the city, of resilience, and of how art and beauty can counteract the problems that this space has experienced, which, with the action of the community, we have restored to full use and which, with Roosegaarde’s work, becomes a tribute to the people of Pesaro and a gift to the ‘temporary citizens’ who will be able to love it.”

The installation arrives at Pesaro 2024 with the support of project special partner BPER, as Giuseppe Marco Litta, head of BPER Banca’s Central East Regional Directorate, explains: “Spark is a narrative of lights, shapes, and extraordinary atmospheres. Having it in Italy, in national preview at Pesaro 2024 – Italian Capital of Culture, represents a unique opportunity to which BPER strongly wanted to contribute. For us, culture, its promotion, its dissemination are essential elements for bringing communities, ideas together, for sharing positive values and uniting territories. We are sure that Spark will become one of the memorable appointments of the rich program of Pesaro 2024.” 

“Spark comes to Pesaro from an old glass factory in Rotterdam,” emphasizes Agostino Riitano, artistic director of Pesaro 2024, “to shine in an amazing light performance. The work carries a message as delicate as it is powerful and is one of the projects in which the themes of sustainability, so dear to the author, show that they are not antagonistic to creativity or technology. On the contrary, creative thinking and the creation of social projects through art fertilize the nature-technology relationship and direct it towards a happier world.”

“The image of fireflies that inspires Roosegaarde’s work,” continues Riitano, “and which also reminds me of Pasolini’s metaphor of fireflies, elements that are not opposed to darkness but to the dazzling lights of the society of spectacle and consumption, not only hides a childlike, enchanted, and dreamy gaze. It tells us what we have lost. What we must return to contemplate. To notice, see, and become aware that fireflies have disappeared is indeed preliminary to any process of regeneration and ecological conversion. Daan Roosegaarde gives us this perspective to see that the loss of beauty is not an ‘inevitable’ evolution costing us. And it’s a gaze that follows concrete examples: the power of imagination bursts into our skies to support other productive models. What we imagine conditions our political action.” 

For Daan Roosegaarde, “SPARK is a place of wonder that shows a new sustainable alternative to celebrate space and time.” It does so by transforming traditional and non-eco-friendly celebration methods (fireworks, balloons, and confetti) into a new sustainable celebration. Through a combination of design and technology, thousands of luminous sparks made of biodegradable materials are silently moved by the changing wind; inspired by fireflies, bird flocks, and the galaxy of stars. “We started our conversation to start this project,” Roosegaarde explains, “about two years ago talking about the dream we had of fireflies. The reference went to Pasolini and what he wrote about fireflies, which he sees as a symbol of the disconnection between man and nature. We wanted to create a project that was public, innovative, delicate, and at the same time poetic. The result is what you will see in these three days at Miralfiore.” Regarding the urban park of the Capital, the artist said, “We wanted a place that was public – like Miralfiore – that could become dark and had trees. In this case, the location also has a theater that allows people to sit back and enjoy the show to the fullest. We wanted to create something that was poetic and natural at the same time, which is why we looked for the perfect location for a long time, also in other cities including London and, I’ll be honest, I think this one is.” 

Traditions can be maintained in a new way, with a collective path, towards the ecological future that SPARK suggests, and to which it invites by empowering the visitor, reminding of the interconnection between humans and nature. And also suggesting the sustainable alternative for collective events (such as the Olympics and New Year’s Eve) that can promote and intertwine reflection and celebration. 

The article Pesaro 2024’s “Capital of Culture” welcomes SPARK, iconic narrative of the “The Nature of Culture”‘ first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.

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