“L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable. Italia anni 70” at FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milan
FM Centre for Contemporary Art, a new artistic and cultural center unique within Italy, opens with the great exhibition “L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable. Italia anni 70” curated by Marco Scotini in collaboration with Lorenzo Paini, with the presence of almost sixty artists and more than two hundred works from the most prestigious private Italian art collections.
The exhibition presents both a critical review and, at the same time, a widespread survey of the Italian artistic scene in the 1970s with works and historic documents aiming to investigate a great heterogeneity of artistic and editorial formats and which reveal, amongst this vast multitude of forms of collective statements, new linguistic devices and a plurality of subjectivities. This was a decade of great productivity in which culture ‘went beyond’ the field of aesthetics, overflowing into languages that resist cataloguing and into ephemeral practices and actions linked to social performability and based on temporality.
“These were the years in which part of the Venice Biennale (1972 edition) – Scotini states – was dedicated to ‘The book as a place of research’ and in which the expression ‘Off media’ proposed by Germano Celant took hold. This is why we have wanted to include, as well as works of art in the classic sense, also photographic reporting, musical scores, radical architectural projects, forms of film, etc. However, the ‘going beyond’ referred to is that of the emergence of social creativity, of general intellect, substantially. This was an aspiration to go beyond the norm and typologies in relation to an (arguably so) unarchivable desire which can be summarized as the space standing between Nanni Balestrini’s subversive ‘We Want it All’ and Anselmo’s metaphysical ‘Everything’”.
The “unarchivable” refers to the surfacing of various, plural social forces opposing the organization and control of labor, affirmative practices of the multi-disciplinary approach that characterized the 1970s in Italy, as also did the new examples of liberation linked to feminist experiences, the questions around gender and the relationship with the political.
If that which becomes history is always determined by that which has been archived, at the same time, the archive reactivates narratives that have never been told once and for all. Thus memory also becomes continuously revocable in an era in which time is the subject of expropriation. In a continuous dialogue between the artistic paradigm and editorial productions, the works and documents on display find their own conditions of appear- ance and existence in this impossibility of – or reluctance to– being archived.
So, “L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable” puts on display the topicality and rediscovery of a decade of great intensity and of linguistic and political experimentation for the Italian and international scene, but also a reflection on the contemporary nature of the archive as a format. All the works from the decade of the 1970s on exhibition are already in the form of an atlas, a catalogue, an inventory and represent in themselves collections, taxonomies, attempts at catalogization on the part of the artists.
From Alighiero Boetti’s classifications to Mario Merz’s sequences of Fibonacci numbers to Paolini’s La Doublure, a collection of white canvases that represent themselves in perspective and are differentiated only by their titles on the back. Or Ghirri’s 1973 Atlante, Nannucci’s Zona archive or Baruchello’s Leftover, through to Mauri’s archive of Linguaggio è Guerra, to Franco Vaccari’s collection of passport photos, Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi’s filmic, perfumed catalogues and Nanni Balestrini’s textual assemblages. If in the same period, the radical nature of Italian feminism led Carla Lonzi to abandon art criticism because it is “through her absence that a woman makes a gesture of awareness, liberating and, therefore, creative”, there is a considerable female presence in the exhibition: from Carla Accardi to Dadamaino, from Marisa Merz to Maria Lai, from the photographs of Marcella Campagnano and Lisetta Carmi, through to Ketty La Rocca’s pre-verbal inventory.
“L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable” is a concentrate of these experiences that go through to the Parco Lambro in 1977 as an affirmation of the multitude and of a plurality of molecular insurgencies, constitutionally unarchivable. Alberto Grifi was unable to encapsulate in a finished film the shooting of the events of the Festival del Proletariato Giovanile [Festival of the Young Proletariats] at the Lambro, producing a work that was not a single film but many films at one and the same time, a multiplicity of filming that permits endless new social re-combinations.
It is precisely in the name of this plurality that is no longer able to summarize itself that FM Center for Contemporary Art had decided to open its activities with the figure of the archive, the collection, the catalogue as the interpretative keys of our present day.
“L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable” includes 200 works by 60 artists from the main private Italian collections.
Artists: Carla Accardi, Vincenzo Agnetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Nanni Balestrini, Gianfranco Baruchello, Irma Blank, Alighiero Boetti, Sylvano Bussotti, Marcella Campagnano, Lisetta Carmi, Giuseppe Chiari, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Gino De Dominicis, Mario Diacono, Luciano Fabro, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Luigi Ghirri, Piero Gilardi, Paolo Gioli, Global Tools, Alberto Grifi, Paolo Icaro, Emilio Isgrò, Jannis Kounellis, Ugo La Pietra, Ketty La Rocca, “La Traviata Norma”, Laboratorio di Comunicazione Militante, Maria Lai, Uliano Lucas, Walter Marchetti, Fabio Mauri, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Ugo Mulas, Maurizio Nannucci, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Luca Maria Patella, Giuseppe Penone, Gianni Pettena, Vettor Pisani, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini, Salvo, Aldo Tagliaferro, Franco Vaccari, Franco Vimercati, Michele Zaza, Gilberto Zorio.
at FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milan
until 15 June 2016
“L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable. Italia anni 70” installation views at FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, 2016
Courtesy: the artists and FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milan. Photo: Alessandra Di Consoli