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Andromeda Theater: the visionary masterpiece of the shepherd

The nudity of the blocks of rock that surround it has the austerity of the walls of Mycenae and the simplicity of a mnnara, the Sicilian stone enclosure for the flock, but the circular space, in its bare, unadorned essentiality, has the abstractness of a timeless place, where matter loses its slag to become a symbol. A humbled patera, a cosmogonic space, a thin and permeable border between past, present and future: this is the Andromeda Theater, a visionary creation of the Sicilian shepherd-sculptor Lorenzo Reina. Modern interpreter of that extraordinary link between rite and representation, between ethics and aesthetics that was the theater of the origins, of which Sicily preserves some of the most significant architectural 'incarnations', Reina collects its marvelous echo re-launching it towards the future, its feet well anchored to those roots that have in the link between nature and culture their most robust fiber. An open post on the landscape, this theater becomes landscape itself through the natural mediation of art that for Reina is "poetry of life"

We are in Contrada Rocca, on the mountains of Santo Stefano Quisquina, a small village of medieval origin in the province of Agrigento. A thousand meters high there is a view that gives vertigo, those that only a look beyond the clouds can give. On the horizon the sea of ​​the Sicilian Channel and, in the center, the island of Pantelleria, a staple of those that for some were the true Colonne d'Ercole of homeric memory. Lorenzo's "extreme border" has managed to overcome it by transforming the limit of his pastoral world into a gateway to art, an art that dialogues with nature, beyond any dichotomy, and interacts with the world, which up here makes tribute to the work of a man who took his destiny into his fist by overturning it first and then dictating its rules.

Yes, because Lorenzo's destiny was to be a shepherd, though his passion for culture burned in his chest. The only son, he quit his studies in eighth grade in order to help his injured father, history, philosophy, art, astronomy, natural sciences in the camps. They were sources to be self-taught by reading the books borrowed from the sisters . And it was wandering among the mountains with his flock of sheep that the meeting took place in the family grounds, with this terrace on the infinite where he imagined and built with his hands a theater dedicated to the Constellation of Andromeda. The highest stone theater in the world. A hundred and two stone cubes, seen from the top in the shape of eight-pointed stars, lie scattered before the proscenium: they are the exact terrestrial projection of that constellation, which comes to life as soon as every spectator occupies his place, illuminating with immense in this place of absolute communion with Nature and with the Sacred that makes it vibrate. Inspired by the scientific theory, and the poetic image, of a future collision between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way "that are going to meet 500 thousand km per second and will eventually merge. An event far in time but that I imagine as the ultimate purpose of everything "

. Stone after stone, Lorenzo has thus shaped his theater, but his is a demiurgic act that knows no stop, because this place and his life have become one: "how you never stop being able to improve yourself , so there will be time and space to improve this theater, of which I feel part "- he says - the mind turned to the next goal, the almost finished 'Teatro di Terra', an indoor theater for winter performances, full of references to our planet.

At the Theater of Andromeda *, a highly scenographic element of the complex, it is accessed through a metal door that rotates around its axis and is inspired by the rotation of the earth and the alternation of day and night; in fact, when it is closed on one side it beats the sun, while on the other there is a shadow. Crossing that threshold is entering another dimension, one in which the inner world of Lorenzo, who has taken shape in the theater, meets the imaginary of the spectators, continually shaped by the fertile seed of scenic art and by the vision of a natural landscape never equal to himself.


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