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Sparks Will Fly Image Credit: W Magazine
Sparks Will Fly Image Credit: W Magazine

Sparks Will Fly

Part performance festival, part bacchanalia, Nicoletta Fiorucci’sVolcano Extravaganza in Stromboli is not for the faint of heart.Christopher Bagley makes the trip.

Annabel Elston

Last July, if you happened to be wandering around Naples or the Mediterranean island of Stromboli, you might have stumbled upon some unexpected sights. One evening, just before dusk, in the public courtyard of a decaying Neapolitan palazzo, 10 naked Italian men faced off in a soccer match, grunting their way around a makeshift field while spectators watched with a mixture of fascination and feigned nonchalance. The next afternoon, on the outskirts of the city, the volcanic crater Solfatara belched sulfurous columns of steam as dancers in red unitards leaped around to a soundtrack of spoken word, delivered live by the poet Holly Pester. And at dawn two days later, on one of Stromboli’s magnificently barren beaches, dozens of young revelers—their bodies smeared with glitter from an all-night dance party at a club up the hill—stripped and sauntered into the water. The British artist Eddie Peake, his emotions surging after orchestrating the events as part of an annual gathering called Volcano Extravaganza, burst into tears before joining the crowd in the sea.

What you might not have noticed during the four-day festival, which began in Naples and ended on the austere volcanic island, was an elegant blonde woman in Loro Piana shorts hovering discreetly at the fringes. Nicoletta Fiorucci doesn’t like to make a show of herself at art events or parties—even if she’s responsible for them, as was the case here. The founder of Fiorucci Art Tru

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