Matera 2019

Exhibitions, residencies, artistic performances, cooking classes, workshops and shows – and one single undisputed protagonist: bread.

Breadway, the project co-produced by Murgiamadre, was a journey and an experience through the streets of the Piccianello district reviving the tradition of bread between 6 and 9 June along a route that included bakers, the former mill and other iconic locations of the Rione.

The 'bread festival' united the telling of the story of local traditions with contemporary artistic expression. Temporary citizens and cultural inhabitants were involved together in an immersive experience that brought them closer to a heritage of knowledge and flavours.

Two exhibitions reopened the doors of the former Mulino Alvino, the first mill to be built in Matera at the end of the 19th century. They marked the start of the festival with an exhibition of the work by the students of the IED in Barcelona and the projects that had answered the call launched by ADI to design new kinds of bread.

The students of the European Institute of Design worked on various aspects of breadmaking: from the beginning, starting with the ingredients that make it up, to stale leftovers. Bread that feeds our bodies, bread that becomes a design item and makes it possible for us to try things out and create a new object while also recycling what is left.

The call launched by the Associazione per il Design Industriale in February, on the other hand, invited participants to create and propose new types of bread using a formula that was not limited to the strictly food-related aspect, but looked beyond it, as the great chefs have accustomed us to seeing. Cooks and designers share an extremely free creative process – they are two very closely-related professions, the only difference being that in the former case, the results are ephemeral and usually disappear after a few bites.

Design projects and performances by five international artists and food performers selected by Indisciplinarte both started out from a long creative construction process revolving around the subject of bread.

Rares Augustin Craiut and Xavier Gorgol took us though the Panificio Perrone for a lesson in anatomy in which the body that was being cut up was the bread of Matera, a megaphone of memories of journeys and migrations through stories collected from a call to people who have left the city. 

Floriane Facchini & Cie pulled memories of all kinds out of the cupboard, interviewing the inhabitants of Piccianello, whose faces and stories enriched the facades of its houses. For the final Cucine(s) Matera performance, a lively parade led visitors to the various stages of this temporary installation, with bread as its common thread.

With a characteristic mobile bakery, Catalina Pollack Williamson listened to stories from the participants and blended their contents together, starting out from memories and traditions. In the bucolic location of the Chiesa Rupestre di Cristo La Gravinella, Gosie Vervloessem performed a mystic ritual that brought a magical creature to life. Finally, together with Harinera Panem et Circenses, the Chilean Andrea Paz and Colectivo Harinera Site Specific, we relived the ancient tradition of crapiata through a contemporary version.

As well as the performances, there were also numerous workshops, including the Cooking Class run by the Associazione Cuochi Materani Derado Vandemoortele and the Consorzio I.G.P. Pane di Matera, children's workshops run by Cozinha Nomade in the shade of the pine trees in the courtyard of the Scuola Marconi and the collections and archives of Paneuropa, a redesigned map of Europe based on the various types of bread found on the continent.

The warm summer evenings were enlivened by a concert by Musica da Cucina, where utensils become instruments, ska with indie and reggae influences by Skanderground, Route 96's cooking blues show and the swing, jive and Dixieland sounds of the Spaghetti Brothers.

With Breadway, Matera and bread became a symbol of sharing, religiousness, holiness and creativity to create a new informed community. Breadway was a rediscovery of conviviality and the pleasure of being together in the name of bread.