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eruzione d'arte a Stromboli - prognosis
encounters between local and international art on an active volcano

The English ambassador William Hamilton was stationed in Italy in the second half of the 18th century when Vesuvius had a series of grand eruptions. Hamilton's detailed observations of volcanic matter and phenomena led to his publication "Campi Phlegraei," which is widely regarded as the first scientific paper on volcanic activity. In addition to scientifically observing volcanism, Hamilton viewed it as a fertile source of inspiration for the Arts. As a patron, he invited many artists of different disciplines to his villa to paint, act, dance, read, sing, and give concerts in front of the erupting Vesuvius. The resulting work from this romantic fusion of geophysics and art found its way back to Europe, fueling a new appetite for depictions of "fire mountains."


Painters in the Neapolitan art colony were compelled to move ever closer to hot lava flows, to achieve fresher, more intimate visions of the exotic. No one could return from their venture, their meeting with nature's titanic crucible, without being changed by it, and for many this meant new imagery and painting styles. The work "Vesuvius," painted in 1774/75 by English artist Joseph Wright of Derby, is regarded by some as one of the first action paintings in the history of art. It is not the naturalistic lava shown erupting in the work, but the color itself that serves as a volcanic expression of the artist's emotions. As Vesuvius cooled at the beginning of the 19th century, so did its celebrity status in the art world. The once heated international interest in volcanic phenomena came to be dominated by science and tourist publications.
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Stromboli is an active volcano reaching out of the Mediterranean Sea nearby Sicily and belongs to the Eolian Islands (UNESCO world heritage). Depending on levels of activity and weather conditions, all strombolian volcanisms can be seen, heard, felt and smelled continuously. In a subjective and relativistic manner their degrees of intensity can be dosed individually throughout varying the personal position on Stromboli. For that, Stromboli has been settled for more than 4000 years because, its inhabitants are still able to adapt themselves to the unpredictability of nature.

Since 1999 Berlin artist Kain Karawahn has organized the International Feuersalon on Stromboli once a year. The myriad yearly eruptions, with their gigatons of explosive force over thousands of years, stand for a creative output of immeasurable energy. According to Karawahn, this volcanic force defines the playing flame of the Salon, whose sulfurous atmosphere can potentialize mental eruptions without mercy.

In the throes of such eruptive spells, participants of differing age, profession, and origin (Europe, Brazil, China, Iran, New Zealand, USA, etc.) have developed the most reliable model to date for eruption prognosis. At this very moment, the accumulation of eruptive ideation has reached such a critical mass that any further secrecy would be irresponsible. We recognize you as a member of a group of persons with the competence and responsibility to multiply the announcement of this early warning of eruption. Don't hesitate to inform and mobilize all those who want to survive. There will definitely be an eruption on Stromboli on March 17th, 2005 at 5 p.m. On the Richter Scale our model prognoses shocks of art because, on Stromboli, 18 local and 18 international artists will clash works, without serious injury. 200 years after Hamilton and Wright of Derby, Goethe on Stromboli once again, volcanisms of nature will erupt volcanism in the arts. Stromboli! Where there is no gallery or museum, there must be the studio. Innovation throughout eruption is evinced in Goethe's writing, straight from fresh lava and into his famous FAUST (II-7865):

But here there was! A fierce plutonic fire,
Explosive gases of Aeolia, dire
Burst through that ancient crust of level ground
That an new mountain might at once be found.

author: Kain Karawahn
translation: Stephen Rife

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· STROMBOLI ONLINE
· KAIN KARAWAHN


 


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