From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

L’arte italiana alle prese con il postcoloniale: appunti da una ricerca

Francesca Gallo


Italian art and the postcolonial: research notes. What is the image of postcolonial Italy? What are the forms and themes employed by visual artists to represent this new ‘condition’? My contribution analyses the works of some Italian and foreign artists, either involved in the cultural climate of postcolonial Italy, or adopting a postcolonial perspective, starting from the extraordinary video The Remains of the Father – Fragments of a Trilogy (Transhumance) (2012), dedicated by Bridget Baker to fascist colonialism. Some Italy-based artists choose the theme of their personal experience of migrants in Europe, such as Adrian Paci, Sislej Xhafa or Sukran Mural, whereas others – starting again from their personal experience – focus on the contradiction of the so-called “second generation”, such as Buchra Kahalili (Venice Biennale 2013). In the Nineties, there are few Italian artists concerned with these contemporary transformations. Among them, Luca Vitone elaborated a cohesive corpus of works in which – preferring a form connected with the concept of place – the recent multiculturalism reverberates on the mixed nature of present national identity, as in Wide City (1998) and Pret à porter (2004). The strong critical awareness of these works seems almost to take the place of the conventional critical debate, which was until now quite occasional (Wherever we go: Art, identity, cultures in transit, exhibition catalogue, Milan 2008) or general (Arte-mondo, edited by E. De Cecco, 2010), at least in the visual art field. The latter are absent, for instance, in Postcolonial Italy: Challenging national Homogeneity (2012).




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