Vita Nuova. New challenges for art in Italy. 1960-1975. Curated by Valerie da Costa. Ville de Nice – Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC), Nice. 05.14.2022 – 10.2.2022

Gianfranco Baruchello, Nello spazio della violenza, 1973, dettaglio

Vita Nuova. New challenges for art in Italy.1960-1975, Installation view, MAMAC, Nizza

Vita Nuova. New challenges for art in Italy. 1960-1975, Installation view, MAMAC, Nizza

The exhibition Vita Nuova. New Challenges for Art in Italy (1960-1975), curated by Valérie Da Costa, explores some of the fundamental passages of the Italian art scene between 1960 and 1975.

The title Vita Nuova evokes the richness and vitality of those fifteen years of creation, which corresponds to the first exhibitions of a new generation of artists born between 1920 and 1940, active in Genoa, Florence, Milan, Rome and Turin from 1960 to 1975, a period marked by the tragic death of the writer, poet and director Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975). The exhibition celebrates the centenary of his birth, which falls in 2022.

Against the backdrop of an Italy transformed by industrialisation, the economic boom, consumer society, and mass media, this generation of artists proposes new ways of understanding and making art that illustrates a form of “Vita Nuova”, a title borrowed from Dante’s book of the same name, which in addition to being an ode to love, affirms a new way of writing.

The exhibition develops thematically and is organised around three main ideas: a society of the image, reconstruction of nature, and memory of the body.

With Nello spazio della violenza, Baruchello opens the section ‘Une Italie Politique’. Nello spazio della violenza is a political work which tackles the theme of antifascism, which, for Baruchello, was a fundamental component of his approach to art and writing following World War II. This history is made explicit in the work, among many others, of a ‘hung’ Mussolini, reduced to the unrecognizable figure of a silhouetted, emptied, and deformed body. Words, quotations, and minute figures tell the story of those years in Baruchello’s work, and constructs his peculiar, fragmented, and multiple space.

Baruchello is also present in the exhibition with the film Verifica incerta (Disperse Exclamatory Phase), realized in collaboration with Alberto Grifi, which is the first Italian experiment of found footage, being derived from mostly American commercial films from the 1950s and 1960s which werepurchased by the artist for a few thousand Italian lire as they were destined for the pulping mill. Verifica incerta (Disperse Exclamatory Phase) juxtaposes different clips by creating a montage of similar or recurring events that are glued together from different pieces of footage.