Extra Academy #54: International Symposium. Embodied Words

Concrete and Visual Poetry in Italy and Belgium in the 60s and 70s

24.05.2018 — 25.05.2018 Symposium

Opgelet: op locatie!
Italian Cultural Institute
Rue de Livourne, 38 - 1000 Brussels


(informatie alleen beschikbaar in het Engels)

“Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses...And to imagine a language means to imagine a form of life.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1953

Stemming from Italian and Russian Futurism, German Dadaism, French Simultanéisme and Lettrism, the analytical reflection on language and the dialectical tension between words and images have deeply informed art and literature in the second half of the twentieth century. Fostering a total intermediality, whose trespassing dynamics integrates “theater, photography, music, painting, typography, cinematographic techniques, and every other aspect of culture, in a utopian ambition to return to origins” (A. Spatola, 1969), the international experiences of Concrete and Visual Poetry have critically re-elaborated the great history of the Avant-Garde, radicalizing the controversial relationship between verbal and figurative arts.

Embodied Words aims at reconstructing and evaluating a unique chronotope of the artistic and literary Neo-Avant-Garde, focusing on Italy and Belgium in the Sixties and Seventies, whose original exchanges led to the production of fundamental anthologies, art magazines, and livres d’artiste. Publications such as Poëzie in fusie. Visueel Konkreet Fonetisch (1968), Lotta Poetica (1971-75), Il Libro 1968-1971 (1971), and exhibitions like Sound Texts Concrete Poetry Visual Texts (1970) and Artist’s Books, cento libri d’artista cento (1978) are just a few examples of this rich corpus, still largely unexplored. How have these exceptional works radically renewed the semiology of the book and the substance of poetry? How did the intellectual contacts between the two countries spread and fueled the revolution of and on the artistic and literary language? What is it that connects and divides the theoretical and formal elaborations arising from such dynamics with respect to Pop Art, Fluxus’s experimentations, and Conceptual Art?

The contributions of art historians and literary critics, enhanced by the presence of some of the protagonists of that time, will thus focus on the entanglements and the specificities at the very core of Poetic Concretism and Visuality: the materiality of writing; the ability to read words and images as manifestations of a single thought; the pursuit of a metalinguistic dimension; the speculation on the relationships among art, literature, and ideology. From Paul De Vree’s De Tafelronde to the intersemiotic experiments carried out by Emilio Villa and Martino Oberto, from Alain Arias-Misson’s Poèmes publics to Vincenzo Agnetti’s de-écritures, this conference rediscovers a poetic and artistic universe of extraordinary reach, “to feel with ears and eyes” (A. Lora Totino, 1972).

HOST INSTITUTION: Italian Cultural Institute, Brussels.

ORGANIZED BY: Maria Elena Minuto (ENAG, KU Leuven), Dalila Colucci (Harvard University).

SCIENTIFIC PARTNERSHIP: KU Leuven – Department of Literary Studies; Università degli Studi di Milano – Dipartimento di Beni culturali e ambientali / Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment; Harvard University – Italian Section of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.

SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONS: M HKA (Antwerp); Paul De Vree Archive (Antwerp); Collection for Research on Artists’ Publications (CRAP, Ekeren).

INVITED SPEAKERS: Cecilia Bello Minciacchi (Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”); Andrea Cortellessa (Università degli Studi “Roma Tre”); Dirk De Geest (ENAG, KU Leuven); Jan De Vree (M HKA; Paul De Vree Archive, Antwerp); Rosanna Gangemi (Université Libre de Bruxelles | Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3); Johan Pas (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp); Jeffrey Schnapp (Harvard University); Bart Vervaeck (ENAG, KU Leuven); Giorgio Zanchetti (Università degli Studi di Milano).

CHAIRS: Bart De Baere (M HKA, Antwerp); Ilaria De Seta (Université de Liège).

GUEST ARTISTS: Alain Arias-Misson, Nico Dockx, Maurizio Nannucci.

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Information and contacts
May 24, 15.30 – 18.00 / May 25, 10.00 – 18.30
Open to the public
Language: English
Italian Cultural Institute
Rue de Livourne, 38 - 1000 Brussels
Info: comunicazione.iicbruxell[email protected]
Tel. +32 (0)2 533 27 20
Embodied Words

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