Viva L'Italia

Bologna Musei, 2017
26 - 29 January 2017


An exhibition focusing on cinema and politics in 1970s Italy curated by Mark Nash.


This exhibition proposes 1970s Italy as the subject of a psycho-geographical investigation by presenting mainly feature length films that refer to political and cultural debates of the time. The exhibition and its constituent films propose and at the same time criticise the mythologies through which this period has been represented.


This exhibition does not refer to the Italy during unification, as portrayed by Roberto Rossellini in Viva L'Italia (1961), but rather focused on the late '60s and early '70s and portrayed for example by Bertolucci and Pasolini, reflecting an Italian reaction to the

events of May 1968 in Paris.


The films presented confront political, social and personal conflicts in ways, which are innovative in terms of cinematic form and personal and collective imagination. The radical cinema of that era was engaged in a form of institutional critique reflecting upon its own visual and conceptual language, exploring issues connected to both public and private dimensions.


Bologna has a strong tradition of imagining and working towards new social forms, whether they be political (Communism) or personal (sex, feminism, psychoanalysis, gay liberation). Our celluloid selection could be read as a discursive mapping of the city itself.


At the Civic Archaeological Museum, a series of screening spaces have been set up in which viewers can watch films in their entirety or choose instead to embark on a personal voyage of images and sounds. The exhibition format within which these films are presented will be familiar to the visitors of Biennials and art fairs. It could be seen as a 'stress test' of the relevance of the experience of cinema, and celluloid today.

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