The 15th edition of the Cento Scale Festival is upon us. This appointment leads us to reflect on its purpose and existence.

Città delle 100 scale festival, grafica 15a edizione

Published on

13 July 2023

Potenza's many stairways connect the above and below of the city, within which the festival has helped to reshape the urban landscape through different ways of using public spaces to reinvent its imagery with architecture, landscaping, and contemporary art.

Despite the uncertainties of contemporary times, the festival background and its so well-defined path encourage us to look to the future by building alliance between human beings and non-human beings too. This is particularly relevant in current times affected by the consequences of conflicts for a new world order, the pandemic and environmental issues as well.

The name of the festival “Città delle Cento Scale” is an expression to say Potenza. In fact, the city urban planning is characterised by several stairways connecting its two levels. Over the past 15 years, the festival has contributed to reshape urban landscape and public spaces through architecture and contemporary art.
First held in 2008, the CentoScale Festival mission is to inquire existing cultural, social, and economic tensions through a multidisciplinary approach encompassing contemporary dance, theatre, and visual arts with a special regard to young talented artists.
Each edition has been marked by ideas which can be also considered hendiadys. Some examples from the past editions can be mentioned: say-silence, ab-norm, absence-presence, empty-full, outside-inside, in-beyond, in-debt, precarity, gesture time transmutations, tree fire rite, space relation body, bodies in transit, bodies life community, mobility-immobility. Those concepts encounter a broad semantic and conceptual field linking thought and action in a pulsating trajectory between language and world, imagination and reality as well as life and its representation.
However, also considering the actual conditions in which the Festival is carried out, two more reflections can be offered. Firstly, the marginalisation of the cultural and creative sector is characterized by shows only seeking profit purposes, institutions promoting identity values, constraints due to public financing.
Secondly, the concept of “care” also emphasizes the festival mission. It is related to the “care” of theatre and performing arts as cultural phenomena but also as an expression of freedom. Moreover, it represents an opportunity to develop new spaces for artistic languages to reshape human and non-human beings. Finally, the “care” for its audience who is a pillar for the festival due to its faith and its criticism too.
In conclusion, the ideas outlined above can be considered as guiding lines in order not to lose the capacity to look at the world from different perspectives, a sort of above/below flow following the fluctuating balance on the depth of art.

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