Diary of a Young Boat in Bologna: About this installation/performance series

by on June 4, 2014

“Few cities in Italy have undergone such a deep metamorphosis as Bologna over the years: from a ‘water city’, it has gradually evolved into a ‘land city’. Few visitors today would think that in the past centuries it was known as Little Venice. . . .”

 Discovering Bologna and Its Waters, by Cecilia Ugolini

Since the site-specific installation of  Metamorfosi di una barca (2011)a version of the Diary of a Young Boat, without sound, adapted specifically for the city of Bagnara’s 14th-century castle tower—incremental steps toward the realization of Diario di una giovane barca (Italian translation of The Diary of a Young Boat) as an urban intervention in Bologna have been underway:

  • In April 2013, actor Laura Falqui performed a series of readings of Diario di una giovane barca in my painting studio in Bologna.
  • Several months later, a “preamble” to a projected three-part urban intervention in Bologna was hosted by Cartoleria 18 Società Cooperativa: in Diario di una giovane barca in tre movimenti (June – July 2013), excerpts of the Diary of a Young Boat were read in Italian in a series of performances by Laura Falqui (as the voice of the Young Boat). The audience followed her from floor to floor where she read excerpts from the Diario in three site-specific installations
  • On September 8, 2013, Ms. Falqui read excerpts from Diario di una giovane barca in a live radio broadcast from Radio Città del Capo during a special presentation at Casa dei Pensieri Libreria for the annual national celebration of Festa dell’Unità in Parco Nord, Bologna.
  • Ultimately, Diario di una giovane barca will take the form of an urban intervention in Bolognagroups of 10 or so people will be led from three or four sites within the ancient city, following the course of the city’s now hidden canal network, listening to the entire aural diary of the Young Boat’s metamorphosis in sequence in real time. In this site-specific theater/interdisciplinary art installation, Bologna’s secret and storied pastepitomized in its almost forgotten metamorphosis from a “water city”will merge with the Young Boat’s story of transformation in unexpected and uncanny ways.


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