On Sunday, February 14th, passing through Piazza Nettuno, you will have noticed a canvas on an easel. Unlike what you might expect, it was not the four boys who brought the equipment who painted, but the crowd. The authors of this artistic performance at Bologna wanted to vent the madness accumulated in recent months, and passers-by were urged to paint and compose together the Folle follia della folla.
We had the pleasure to ask some questions to the four guys who made this artistic performance in Bologna: let’s get to know them better.
Q: Hi guys! Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: Tommaso: My name is Tommaso Simoncini and I am the creator of this project. I am 19 years old and my studies are totally opposite to my artistic nature. I’m graduating as an agricultural expert, but plants and animals aren’t my main interests.
ChiaraMy name is Chiara Marchiani, I am 18 years old and I study at the Liceo delle Scienze Umane. I know Thomas from birth because, in addition to living in the same village of the province, we attended kindergarten, elementary and middle school together. When he proposed me to participate in his project I did not hesitate even a moment, already knowing that the final result would be beautiful.
Nicole: My name is Nicole Ciotti and I am also 18 years old. With Tommaso and Chiara we have known each other since kindergarten, and lately our lives have crossed again and have become united in a friendship that converges in this project. Seeing it happen has been a huge satisfaction, and I can’t wait to start living again and travel to continue to shape it.
Lorenzo: My name is Lorenzo Grassi and I am 18 years old. I met Tommaso at school, but our friendship goes beyond the walls of the classroom. I immediately followed him in his projects, however out of the box or difficult they may seem to realize. We are best friends, I am very happy that he has managed to complete this project and I very much hope to be able to carry this idea forward throughout Italy.
Q: Thomas, how did this project come about?
A: The half-sleep is the moment in which I can think better and, among the many ideas, I fixed in my head to concretize the desire to make art in its simplest and most spontaneous expression. I come from a very small village in the province, far from the reality of cities like Bologna, and I have always felt close. Talking about it with the others, I realized that it’s a shared feeling, and a simple chat turned into a project that we took to the square.
Q: And how did this artistic performance take place in Bologna?
A: After a difficult move of canvases, cans, easels and cameras, and 120 kilometers of train, we moved on to the actual creative phase. Having identified the square (that of Neptune, in front of the Salaborsa Library), we set up the place where we would go to create the project that, until just before, was just a fantasy: Folle follia della folla. We mounted a canvas on his easel. Underneath, a plastic sheet acted simultaneously as a protector for the flooring and support for the colored cans with which passers-by could express themselves. The aim was to make anyone who felt the need freely express, especially in a historical moment like the one we are experiencing.
Q: Can you explain better the reason of the headline Folle follia della folla?
A: As we felt the need to express ourselves, we wanted the crowd too to have the same chance to do so. We believe in freedom of expression, and each, however different or crazy have the right to make their voice heard. Madness is freedom, or freedom is madness?
Q: Was there any resonance? Are you satisfied with the result?
A: We were surprised by the feedback from passers-by. It was like sharing the same passion with a community, even with those who just stood by. There have also been questions, and some have made us reflect on the judgment that “common sense” has on initiatives such as ours. The right question is not “what do you gain?” in economic terms, but rather “how do you feel?”
Q: What is your future goal?
A: Among the various projects we have in mind, we wanted to complete this by going to the various capitals of Italy, documenting everything with our beloved camera, trying to make all Italians feel what we feel.
Q: Do you have social media channels on which we can follow you?
Q: Thank you guys for giving us this time. Keep it up and pursue your dreams: we wish you to take your art everywhere!