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A unique event for a unique occasion

Light is Life is the major event organised by A2A as part of the events scheduled to celebrate Bergamo Brescia – Italian Capital of Culture 2023.

Sponsored by the Municipalities of the two cities, the Festival wants to express a lively international perspective, while at the same time aiming to involve the area’s productive energies, cultural institutions and educational venues.

The two cities will become veritable open-air art galleries, thanks to the presence of the works of light that 17 artists from all over the world have chosen to animate the symbolic places of the Italian Capital of Culture.

The Festival also wants to illuminate the path to building a sustainable and solidarity-based future. This is why Light is Life was born out of a double awareness: environmental, thanks to the use of energy from renewable sources, and social, through the support of Banco dell’energia.

Solidarity and respect for the environment

The Festival provides concrete support for the activities of Banco dell’Energia, which for years has been committed to combating energy poverty in Italy.

A2A will donate to the Banco dell’Energia a sum equivalent to the volume of energy used to light the event, in addition to the proceeds from sponsorships, sales of merchandising and publishing products. The funds raised will support projects aimed at Bergamo and Brescia families in difficulty.

The Festival will be powered by renewable sources, and the installations are designed according to energy efficiency criteria. Light is Life is also an opportunity to disseminate tips and advice for optimising domestic energy consumption.

The openings

Light is Life – A2A Light Festival will be inaugurated in Brescia on Friday 10 February 2023 in Piazza della Loggia and in Bergamo on Friday 17 February 2023 in Piazza Vecchia, with two exciting evenings.

In Brescia an exceptional testimonial, Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs, will officially kick off the entire event. In Bergamo, the protagonists will be the Gaetano Donizetti Conservatory Choir and Palazzo Nuovo, which will be transformed thanks to video projections generated by an artificial intelligence from the Angelo Mai Civic Library database.

Light is Life in Brescia

In Brescia, the event, organised in collaboration with the Municipality of Brescia and the Brescia Musei Foundation and inspired by the successful experience of Cidneon (the light art festival organised by the Comitato Amici del Cidneon in the three-year period 2017-2019), primarily involves Piazza della Loggia, one of the city’s main squares, where an evocative 3D mapping will animate Palazzo della Loggia for the entire duration of the event.

The Capitolium and the “Transfigured Victory”

The festival also involves the Capitolium, the Roman temple located in Via dei Musei, the decumanus maximus of ancient Roman Brixia.

The Capitolium will host the first work of light: a sculpture inspired by the famous Winged Victory, revisited in a contemporary key, specially designed to create a dialogue of contrasts with the classical architecture of the site. The work, entitled “Transfigured Victory”, is a new creation by Angelo Bonello.

The Castle: an imaginary world

The real heart of the event is the Castle, a fortification of mediaeval origin, perched on the Cidneo hill, close to the city centre. A pathway with 14 light installations winds through the Castle area. We enter a fantastic, almost dreamlike world, where light and colours are the undisputed protagonists of the night. The works that animate the Cidneo include the installation “Hello Goodbye” by Marco Lodola, one of the most famous and influential contemporary Italian artists and one of the founders and leading exponents of the New Futurism Movement. The work is a greeting to sailors, travellers, those who go far away and those who arrive, eager to rediscover their homeland. The Castle will also host “Histories of light”, a choral project of light works by the students of the city’s Art Academies – SantaGiulia and LABA, in collaboration with the cultural association Cieli Vibranti – on the theme “Risorgimento: a shared history”. The Risorgimento is understood on this occasion not only as a historical period, but also as a metaphor for the resilience and rebirth of the two territories. The students will also collect some vocal testimonies that will form the opera “The things that cannot be forgotten”. The courtyard of the donjon will host the work “Remembering a Brave New World” by British artist Chila Kumari Burman, an extraordinary site-specific installation in technicolour with clear references to mythology, Bollywood, radical feminism, political activism and family memories. Angelo Bonello, artistic director of the entire festival, will bring two other works to Brescia:

“Big ballerina”ballerina”, a classical ballerina agreed to be an icon of beauty and exterior elegance, but also an emblem of the hard discipline required to approach an ideal of perfection that costs sacrifice, and “Run Beyond”, a work that, through the luminous silhouettes of a man preparing to take a leap, invites observers to overcome their own limits and to embrace every challenge with confidence.

The waste-to-energy plant: light to the city

The light also touches the A2A waste-to-energy plant: for the whole duration of the festival, its tower with its characteristic iridescent blue colouring, designed in the 1990s by Jorrit Tornqvist, will be illuminated and will have a skylaser at the top pointing towards the Castello Cidneo.

Light is Life in Bergamo

In Bergamo, the protagonist of Light is Life is the Upper City, through a route that starts from Piazza della Cittadella and ends at Palazzo Moroni, touching some of the main and most evocative cultural sites. Along this route, it will be possible to admire 12 light installations.

A route in the Upper City

After crossing Piazza della Cittadella and passing through Piazza Mascheroni, the public reaches the Gaetano Donizetti Music Library. The Chiostro Maggiore features “Traffic”, a mobile sculpture by Ivan Navarro, a Chilean artist who creates light installations that recall the symbolic and social value of energy and light. The Minor Cloister of the same Library hosts the emblematic “The time machine” by Federica Marangoni, a three-metre high golden hourglass reflecting on the concept of time: a vital and ephemeral object, celebrating life itself. Ivan Navarro is the author of a second installation, “Bed”, which recalls the features of a well. Its location in the Tempietto di Santa Croce is ideal due to the presence, on the lower level of the small chapel, of the Basilica’s ancient baptismal font. By ideally dialoguing with the spring below, the work becomes a contemporary reinterpretation of the font. Crossing Piazza Vecchia we find ourselves immersed in an evocative 3D mapping homage to the culture of the area, projected onto the main façade of Palazzo Nuovo, home of the Angelo Mai Civic Library. The Chiostro Maggiore of the Convent of San Francesco features the work “Frame Perspective”, by the French artist Oliver Ratsi, designed to immerse the visitor in a fluctuating environment, linking digital technologies with physical spaces.

La Torre dei Venti, a well-known symbol

The Fortress (Rocca) is illuminated by several works, including a second installation by Federica Marangoni, “Go Up”, made of cracked neon tube, a tube that produces a visual effect of continuous electrical discharge, like that of lightning. From the staircase, more than 12 metres high, emerges the inscription Go Up, which is intended as an invitation not to stop in the face of life’s challenges. The Fortress will also host “Stories of Light”. As in Brescia, this is a choral project of light works, created in this case by the students of the Accademia d’Arte Carrara.

A2A Life Company: who we are

The Tower of the Winds (Torre dei Venti), one of the symbols of the city, since 2010 declared an asset of historical, artistic and cultural interest, becomes a distinctive sign of the Festival: the striking architectural lighting symbolically represents the beacon of progress, of which the city has always been a protagonist.

A2A Life Company: chi siamo

A2A deals with energy, water and the environment, with a circular use of natural resources. It operates with great attention to communities and customers throughout the country, through services that are part of everyday life and that can make a concrete contribution to the sustainable future of new generations.

It promotes the vision of a cleaner world, respectful of the environment, territories and people.

It has chosen to place ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) objectives at the heart of its 2030 strategic plan, based on the energy transition and circular economy.