Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, art is recycled (in the country): Sementerie Artistiche

Yesterday was partita day, and years of experience taught me that it is useless to display any detachment or mental independence from the biggest ritual of the Country: you’d end up alone in your living room feeling sad while everyone else gathers in front of the tv screen, like old farmers gathering in front of a fireplace after a long day, screaming at the ball and experiencing this  incredibly strong, warm, exciting feeling of belonging. No thanks. Much better to go with the flow. Luckily, yesterday’s flow took me exactly where I wanted to be: in the countryside, in a place where I could just pretend to be watching the football match with my friends while actually looking around, exploring this new venue and letting my mind come and go as it pleased while taking notes for this new post.

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As you can guess from this apparently endless preface, I am not going to write about the football match (just like you can guess that I am not an expert in SEO writing and optimizing…). I’m actually going to take you to Sementerie Artistiche,  whose opening night happened to be just yesterday.  Lost in the very middle of the “Bassa”, surrounded by fields, country houses and ghosts of factories, lies this unusual place that has been devoted to seminars and art residencies for the past year or so (and you can tell by the very stylish and artistic use of the space indoor and outdoor), but only yesterday debuted as a place for regular people to come and spend an evening during the week ends.

What immediately strikes you is the use of contrasts: there’s a lovely “straw theatre”, an actual arena entirely made of blocks of straw, but it is overlooked by some silos. There’s the nice country atmosphere, but the artsy taste dominates the scene with a vintage sofa here and a rétro chest of drawers there (and by there I mean on the grass); there are the young prunes and little graceful lights on the patio that almost make you feel like you’re in South of France, but also a “gnocco fritto” stall that brings you straight back to where you are: Crevalcore, a solid 40 minutes’ drive from Bologna.

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The distance from the city is certainly a little turn off, but you certainly cannot expect an artists’ residence, where shows must be rehearsed and art breathed, to be in the middle of, well, anything. So yes, Sementerie Artistiche is in the middle of nowhere and takes some time to get to, but once you’re there you can actually relax, enjoy a show and/of art installation (yesterday there were both, and I didn’t have to pay anything except for the a five euros membership), eat some very cheap gnocco and, if you feel like, stay for the night for a very, very fair price.

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Another thing worth mentioning is how the idea of Sementerie came to the two founders (actors Pietro Traldi and  Manuela De Meo): following the 2012 earthquake, that heavily damaged the countryside between Modena and Bologna, the  area previously occupied by the agricultural and production spaces of a big company needed being redefined after a part of it collapsed. And here came the inspiration for “recycling” the premises and part of the field, in accordance to the motto “Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed”. And recycling is also the theme for the art project that welcomes you behind the glass wall of the gallery/theatre that are another vital part of the venue. Visitors are asked to leave a note on their idea od recycling and toss it into a gold-painted trash bin. Let’s hope good ideas, and good people, will continue to come.

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