The course aims at acquiring autonomous historical analysis and critical interpretation of the artistic phenomena of the contemporary age, with particular regard to the interactions between artistic production and theoretical and aesthetic reflection.
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Over the last forty years of the 20th century, Italy underwent a rapid and often-conflicting societal and cultural transformation. The country witnessed significant economic growth and globalization, the emergence of a consumer-driven society, and the rise of the digital economy. Art played a role in anticipating, documenting, and challenging these changes, while maintaining a strong connection to its historical roots and engaging in a dynamic dialogue with experimental innovations from around the world. Art experiences in Italy have often adopted a distinctive and marginalized character, deliberately seeking out their own independent sphere of influence.

The course delves into this period by emphasizing the most significant research directions and notable personalities in the arts, engaging in discourse with criticism and theory, as well as with other fields such as literature, cinema, and the political and social climate of the country. Exhibitions, works, and important texts will help to explore an artistic panorama that is often just beginning to be analyzed in historical and critical terms.

The course will involve trips to museums and other sites of cultural significance in Rome and other cities. The schedule for these visits will be established in October.

Course lectures are recorded and accessible via the designated Teams channel on my teaching page. To access this resource, all students must register for the course team on Teams.

Core Documentation

Stefano Chiodi, Genius Loci. Anatomia di un mito italiano, Quodlibet
Paul Ginsborg, L’Italia del tempo presente, Einaudi
Edward C. Banfield, Le basi morali di una società arretrata, il Mulino
Gabriele Guercio, Anna Mattirolo (a cura di), Il confine evanescente, Electa (saggi scelti)
Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin Buchloh, Art since 1900, Thames & Hudson (in particolare 1945-2000, PDF)
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Scritti corsari, Einaudi
Enrico Castelnuovo e Carlo Ginzburg, Centro e Periferia, Officina Libraria
Federico Zeri, La percezione visiva dell'Italia e degli italiani, Einaud
Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin Buchloh, Art since 1900, Thames & Hudson (in particolare 1945-2000, PDF)
Additional readings will be specified throughout the lectures, and some essays will be accessible as PDFs on the appropriate Files section on the course's Teams channel.

Type of delivery of the course

In-person and video-recorded lectures

Type of evaluation

Exams 12 CFU: The examination requires writing and discussing a paper that includes a topic and specific bibliography agreed upon with the instructor. The paper should be at least 26,000 characters long, including spaces, notes, and bibliography, and must be submitted by email at least ten days before the exam. Thorough comprehension of the course materials, including texts, images, and films, is essential to expound and comment in the oral interview of the exam on the themes, historical aspects, ideas, and works examined in light of the listed texts in the bibliography. Please note that non-attending students are required to take an oral examination on the course's covered program, in addition to paper writing. The essays provided in the "Files" section of the Teams channel must be read before the exam. The 6 CFU exam will be conducted in the classroom or online if necessary and will be written. The exam evaluates the capacity to present and analyze themes, poetics, movements, and artists discussed in class and covered in the bibliography. Furthermore, it assesses the proficiency in reading and interpreting works of art, utilizing suitable critical terminology, and connecting artworks to their historical context.