Volcano Extravaganza 2018 – Total Anastrophes

2 February 2018

Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh


A project by Fiorucci Art Trust

In collaboration with The Vinyl Factory

Curated by Milovan Farronato

Artistic Leader: Runa Islam

Cecilia Bengolea, Alex Cecchetti, Patrizio di Massimo, Haroon Mirza, Tobias Putrih, Osman Yousefzada

With contributions by: Alec Curtis, Liliana Moro, Chiara Fumai, Anna Boghiguian, Chus Martínez, Delia Gonzalez, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Joana Escoval, Christodolulos Panayiotou, George Henry Longly, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa, Roberto Cuoghi, Katharina Fritsch, Stella Bottai, Mathilde Rosier


As dusk began to fall once again over the crawling metropolis of Dhaka, an invocation, a captatio benevolentiae, could distinctly be heard in the Auditorium of the Shilpakala Academy. It was the chirping of extinct birds captured by Naufus Ramìrez-Figueroa, which filled our echo-chamber while our enthusiast crew of technicians hoisted the mobile bamboo structures by Tobias Putrih.

‘Behind the scenes’— metaphorically speaking, as we chose to erase the separation between audience and performers— the excitement was growing…

Rebounding against the surfaces of the theatre thanks to the savvy manipulations of our valiant sound contortionist Alec Curtis, the voice and the words of Diana Campbell Betancourt‘s inaugural speech followed shortly after… illuminated only by the feeble light of a portable projector, the Artistic Director of the Dhaka Art Summit could barely be seen, her presence palpable but mysterious.

As soon as Diana‘s figure dissolved, it was the turn of a highly mystical intervention, one of special meaning for the Fiorucci Art Trust: accompanied only by sulfurous lines of smoke and a series of fixed spotlights, Chiara Fumai‘s interpretation of the Gnostic poem The Thunder, Perfect Mind echoed in the space. Enveloped in our cradle of latent memories, we remembered the many moments of creation shared with her.

Next in our overture came the poem The Rebel by activist Kazi Nazrul Islam, which was recited as if in a choir by Cecilia Bengolea, Alex Cecchetti, Patrizio Di Massimo, Runa Islam and Tobias Putrih.

Announced by Katharina Fritsch‘s recording of the pattering sounds of raindrops falling on the rhododendron leaves, and accompanied by a soundscape by Haroon Mirza, Artistic Leader Runa Islam‘s 16mm This Much Is Uncertain was screened shortly after, on the silk textiles hanging from our volcanic architectures. The film was realised almost a decade ago in Stromboli: symbolically, it can be considered as the first ultrasound of Volcano Extravaganza

As Haroon Mirza decided to stay a little longer on stage, Alex Cecchetti decided to unexpectedly involve him in the recital of his collection of erotic poetry, Clitoris… soon enough, Cecilia Bengolea joined the performance, so that she and Alex continued their energetically charged duet, according to the original master plan.

Once the time of the spoken word ended, the Auditorium became a temporary dance hall for a practice led by the Argentinian choreographer… a ritualistic dance inside the volcano, moments before the last eruption of the first day exploded in the air, with the beats of Delia Gonzalez‘s track Vesuvius…

Photographs by Noor Photoface