As Iddu continued to be felt and to be the hot topic on the island, we were getting ready to welcome our visitors for the Fete Worse Than Death. The tide had stabilised and we were blessed and reassured by a beaming full moon.

Upon their arrival at their Strombolian home, some of our guests found a transparent bag with some objects that were selected by the participants of Volcano Extravaganza 2019. The request? For them to use their survival skills to decode its content, which we trusted might brace them up during their stay. For those who didn’t find a bag, we advised they ask their friends to share.

At night, we patiently waited for them at La Lunatica, the house on the cliff Punta Restuccia, right before sun down, dressed according to the gospel of Live and let dieWe knew the journey had been long, crossing to the island is always trying but we asked our guests to rush straight from the aliscafo. Sunset would be quickly upon us and by 10:30 everything had to vanish.

As above so below, we invited our guests to keep looking in unconventional places. We requested they be prepared to spot sculptural, performative or elemental interventions, as our artists’ contributions took over the night. Nicholas Byrne enveloped the walls of the house with a dancing darkness, while Prem Sahib left some traces of his latest travels to another volcanic island.

Agnieszka Brzezanska dressed the table where some, not all, were invited to sit. Others were asked to find their favourite spot on the surrounding benches overlooking the sea. Our two hosts, opposed and together, served dishes by Jonas Palekas from Delta Mityba in Vilnius, Lithuania. Delicious and unexpected, they included ‘discomfort food’ along with especially created Creature of the Sea pasta.

Anthea Hamilton’s kites directed by Eve Stainton attempted to fight the wind as Julie Béna’s regenerating whispers guided us through the beginning and ending of the night. Maria Loboda, our faithful artistic leader, had scattered her presence around the house and around the island. Strange characters started to appear, seemingly out of place yet mysteriously fitting in. A man on crutches, a bell boy with suitcase. These were only two of the omnipresences that were conceived by Maria Loboda. Constantly appearing and disappearing and in eternal flux, we left it up to our guests, like children on a treasure hunt, to find the evidence predicting the plot of the coming days.

Photos by Daniele De Carolis