2016 American Association for Italian Studies Annual Conference, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
IAS-Sponsored Session

Anachronism and Historicism in Italian Modern and Contemporary Art I

Hunt Room
Friday April 22, 2016, 9:00-10:30 am

Organizers: Lucienne Auz, Memphis College of Art, and Adrian R. Duran, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Chair: Adrian R. Duran, University of Nebraska at Omaha

The dominant narratives of Modernism promote an iconoclastic approach to the past. Postmodernism, with its impulses towards appropriation and pastiche, would engage a more absorptive, constructive approach to history. Both, however, obscure the reality of the Italian circumstance. Passatismo Italianità and the ever-visible presence of the past created innumerable opportunities to explore complex temporal structures in their work through subtle reference, utilization and reconfiguration of histories both national and local, recent and distant. Recognition of temporal nuances within the work of modern and contemporary Italian artists is often neglected in favor of more literal interpretations. In such instances, a myopic reading of the signs within a work fails to comprehend the multifaceted meanings and temporalities that can be present simultaneously. To fully appreciate the dynamics of twentieth-century Italian art, a more focused analysis of how these artists utilize an anachronic collapse of time within their work to critically analyze the present through the lens of the past and invite a distant, yet still active voice to speak to concerns of the day is needed. This panel explored the myriad ways in which the visual arts of the Italian nation and its cultural diaspora attend to the past in areas such as artistic creation, exhibition installation, performance, and reconstruction of past works and exhibitions.


Laura Moore Cecchini, Duke University
“Baroque Futurism: Roberto Longhi and the Seicento as the Origin of Modern Art on the eve of the First World War”
Jonathan Mekinda, University of Illinois at Chicago
“Craft as Past and Present and Future: ENAPI at the Triennale di Milano, 1933-1957”
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