Performance Art in Italy: The Early Days
A conversation between Laura Cherubini and Carmine Fornari
Starting with the period spent in Rome by Simone Forti, the first artist featured in the performance series, Laura Cherubini will explore how performance art emerged in Italy, describing the fundamental role played by the Roman gallery L’Attico in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A key figure in this story is Fabio Sargentini, the director who made this gallery a nerve center for crossovers between artistic disciplines, pioneering experimentation that paved the way to performance art in Italy: from an avant-garde music and minimalist dance festival involving international figures like La Monte Young and Yvonne Rainer, to memorable performances by Italian artists such as Jannis Kounellis and Gino De Dominicis. Laura Cherubini will be speaking with filmmaker Carmine Fornari, one of the people at the heart of Art Tapes 22, the video art production center that Maria Gloria Bicocchi ran in Florence in the early 1970s: another fundamental chapter in that period, which forged profound links between the history of performance art and video.
Laura Cherubini is a curator, teacher, and author of many essays in catalogues, books and reviews. She has published monographs on Gino De Dominicis, Ettore Spalletti, Grazia Toderi, Massimo Bartolini, Paola Pivi, and Fabio Mauri. Cherubini is Vice-President of MADRE in Naples, and is on the advisory boards of the Mario Schifano, Franco Angeli, Fabio Mauri, and Alighiero Boetti archives. She teaches Contemporary Art History at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan.
Carmine Fornari is a filmmaker and screenwriter. He studied film at New York University, then worked for Art Tapes 22 in Florence in the 1970s, making artist videos with Jannis Kounellis, Vito Acconci, Vincenzo Agnetti, Charlemagne Palestine, Giuseppe Chiari, Alighiero Boetti, and Simone Forti. Today, all of these tapes are in the collection of the Venice Biennale. His works have been featured in many international film festivals, such as the Venice Film Festival in 1994. Over the years, Fornari has made over one hundred documentaries and investigative reports for the BBC and the RAI. In 2000 the Beaubourg in Paris included his documentary Femminielli among the 100 works of the 20th century to be saved. He teaches Audiovisual Techniques and Codes at the Accademia Albertina in Turin.
Cover photo by: Trisha Brown, Skunk Cabbage, Salt Grass and Waders, Festival Danza Volo Musica Dinamite, L’Attico (garage via Beccaria), June 1969. Photo: Claudio Abate. Courtesy Fabio Sargentini - Archivio L’Attico.
13 November 2017
Museo del Novecento, Conference Room
via Marconi 1