An interdisciplinary symposium:
April 17 – 18, 2009
Harvard Center for European Studies
– Organized by Claudio Fogu, Ara H. Merjian, and Lucia Re
There will be five interesting panels, Futurist Music, and hors d’oeuvres and even a film. Check out the full schedule and list of participants on the conference website!
…synthesis and surprise…
The Founding Manifesto of Futurism today constitutes, in its own right, a venerable artifact. This crystallizes the irony that haunts our endeavor: to mark and measure a movement that augured – even encouraged – its own obsolescence. The staging of such an event within the hallowed halls of academe invites a certain self-consciousness regarding the legacies (and travesties) of the Futurist project. We aim to incorporate that self-consciousness into the fabric of our event, using it as a productive – and perhaps performative – aspect rather than repressing it.
What we find alive today in that manifesto, and worth measuring (in the sense both of assessing, and of misurarsi contro) is its attack on the distinction between the cultural production and storage of knowledge (museums, libraries, universities) and the artistic production of a radical avant-garde. Over time, Futurism itself invented a kind of criticism aimed at challenging passeist modes of thinking and of communicating knowledge.
Marinetti called the new critical interventions “misurazioni” (measurements and challenges). We would like to celebrate this important anniversary with a misurazione of Futurism itself, of its success or failure in changing the divergent course of knowledge production and artistic endeavor beginning in the twentieth century, up to the present day.
1) sorpresa: We have decided not to announce the titles of papers ahead of time, nor to straightjacket them into pre-determined sessions by title or topic. Only session moderators (or rather eccitatori) will have read papers beforehand.
2) sintesi: Papers will be limited to 15 minutes each, affording longer intervals of discussion and dialogue. Since no one (except for panel moderators) will know the precise topic of each paper, it will be the challenge of all participants (and audience) to use the discussion periods to tease out relevant affinities, or significant divergences.
We thus hope that the symposium’s import – and perhaps its “measure” – will unfold in real time, unburdened by prescripted thematic regulations.
Location: Lower Level Conference Room map
|Friday, April 17, 2009|
|09:00 AM||Coffee and Welcome|
|09:30 AM||Opening Remarks
Lino Pertile, Ara Merjian
|10:00-11:30 AM||Session 1
Eccitatore: Vivien Greene
· Jennifer Scappettone
|11:30-11:45 AM||Coffee break|
|11:45-1:15 PM||Session 2
Eccitatore: Francesco Pelizzi
· Laura Wittman
|3:15-5:30 PM||Session 3
Eccitatore: Robert Lumley
· Nicola Pezolet
|5:30-6:45 PM||Break, Futurist Music, and hors d’oeuvres|
|7:00 PM||Harvard Film Archive film program: map
Oh! Uomo (2004) and Il Fiore della razza (The Flower of the Race, 1991) (total running time: 91 min. + Q&A)
|Saturday, April 18, 2009|
|9:30-11:00 AM||Session 4
Eccittattore: Paolo Scrivano
· Claudio Fogu
|11:15-1:15 PM||Session 5
Eccitattore: Jack McGrath
· Christine Poggi
|1:15 PM||Closing remarks and discussion|
|Sponsor: CES Special event, co-sponsored by the Lauro de Bosis Committee at Harvard University, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, and the Harvard Film Archive
Contact Name: Jason Beerman
Luca Buvoli (born in Italy, 1963, lives in New York) is an artist working with animated film and video, installation, sculpture, drawing, and artist’s books. Luca Buvoli’s solo shows include the ICA in Philadelphia (2007), the M.I.T. List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (2000), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2001), the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (part of Mythopoeia: projects by Matthew Barney, Luca Buvoli, and Matthew Ritchie)(1999), the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2003), and the John Weber Gallery, New York (1995-‘97-‘99). Group shows include the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa (1997), and Greater New York at PS1, New York (2000). Several new works, part of a large multi-media installation, were recently shown at the 52nd Venice Biennale, at the entrance of the Arsenale.
Tra i massimi esperti internazionali di Futurismo e di Metafisica, nonché di arte italiana della prima metà del ‘900, opera più sporadicamente sul fronte del contemporaneo. Vive a Roma ed è ordinario di storia dell’arte contemporanea all’Università dell’Aquila. Coautrice insieme a Maurizio Calvesi del Catalogo generale dell’opera di Umberto Boccioni (1983). Nel 1988 al Metropolitan Museum di New York cura una retrospettiva su Boccioni. Risale invece al ’96 la cura della mostra sul “Futurismo” al Museo Picasso di Barcellona. Firma la grande rassegna sulla “Metafisica” alle Scuderie del Quirinale di Roma nel 2003, con opere provenienti dai maggiori musei internazionali, per cui rimangono irripetibili alcune pareti della mostra. Ha partecipato con saggi in cataloghi a mostre come “Italian Art in the 20th Century”, Royal Academy di Londra (‘89); “Memoria del Futuro” al Centro Reina Sofia, Madrid (‘90); “Art and Power”, Hayward Gallery, Londra (‘95). Si è poi occupata di Richard Serra, del quale ha curato, con Mario Codognato, una esposizione ai Mercati Traianei di Roma (‘99); sola curatrice di quella di Gary Hill al Colosseo di Roma (2005) e della retrospettiva di Enzo Cucchi al Museo Correr di Venezia (2007). E’ uno dei tre curatori dell’esposizione del centennale della nascita del Futurismo nel 2009, che è stata inaugurata al Centre Pompidou di Parigi, ora è alle Scuderie del Quirinale di Roma e andrà alla Tate Modern di Londra in giugno, ogni volta verrà “tarata” sulle vicende artistiche del paese ospitante. Sempre a Ester Coen è stata affidata la regia delle due mostre sul Futurismo previste nel gennaio 2009 al Mart di Rovereto e nel giugno al Museo Correr, in contemporanea alla Biennale di Venezia.
Professor Fogu is a native Italian who was trained as a cultural historian of modern Italy and Europe at UCLA, and taught modern European History at Ohio State University, and University of Southern California. He is now an associate professor in the UCSB Department of French and Italian Studies, where he teaches courses on Mediterranean Italy, Italian cinema, theatre and politics. Professor Fogu’s research has focused on modern and contemporary Italy, and, in particular, on the development of Mediterranean forms of culture and identity in the 20th century.
Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi
The Italian filmmaking team of Angela Ricci Lucchi and Yervant Gianikian burst onto the film scene in 1986 with their landmark experimental work From the Pole to the Equator. This startling work placed them at the forefront of the documentary film movement and introduced what would become recurrent themes in their work: peace and war, imperialism, and the exploitation of the underprivileged. The pair’s signature style often involves the manipulation of rare footage through re-photographing, selectively hand-tinting, and altering film speed to produce a final work of a distinctly otherworldly quality. The stunning visuals Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi create—and often enhance with original music—unravel ideologies and conflicts in a given moment in history. This strategy reveals depths of meaning, symbols, and visual metaphors that might otherwise be lost to viewers.
Romy Golan teaches 20th century European art at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her book Muralnomad: the Paradox of Wall Painting, Europe 1927-195 is forthcoming with Yale University Press this September. Her publications include Modernity and Nostalgia: Art and Politics in France between the Wars (Yale University Press, 1995); “Italy and the Concept of the “Synthesis of the Arts,” in Architecture + Art: New Visions, New Strategies, Eeva-Lisa Pelkonen and Esa Laaksonen eds. (Alvar Aalto Academy, Helsinky, 2007); “The critical moment: Lionello Venturi in America” in Artists, Intellectuals, and World War II: the Pontigny encounters at Mount Holyoke College 1942-44 (Univ. of Mass. Press, 2006); “Marinetti’s culinary gamble”, in the column “Ingestion”, Cabinet Magazine, Spring 2003; “From Monument to Muralnomad: the mural in modernist architecture” in The Built Surface: Architecture and Pictures from Antiquity to the Millenium, Karen Koehler ed. (Ashgate Press, Aldershot, 2002); “L’éternel décoratif: French art in the 1950s,” in Yale French Studies, Spring 2001.” She is currently working on a book on Italian art from 1943 to 1973.
Ara H. Merjian
Ara H. Merjian is the Lauro de Bosis Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, and Assistant Professor of Italian Studies and Art History at New York University. He is completing a book manuscript on Giorgio de Chirico’s early Metaphysical cityscapes and Nietzschean philosophy, and has recently finished a translation of de Chirico’s second novel, Il Signor Dudron (forthcoming, Exact Change Press). He is a regular critic for Modern Painters, Artforum online, and Frieze.
“Giuliana Minghelli is Associate Professor of Italian Literature and Film in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Her book, In the Shadow of the Mammoth: Italo Svevo and the Emergence of Modernism, appeared in 2003. Recently her work has focused on cinema, with essays on the documentaristic vision in Italian cinema, Neorealism and Walter Benjamin’s cinema of the future, and Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione. An essay on Cesare Zavattini and surrealism, “Effetto notte: Immagine e memoria in Zavattini,” is about to appear in the Italian journal Locus Solus. She recently served as guest editor on a special issue of L’anello che non tiene entitled Modern Image: Intersections of Photography, Literature and Cinema in Italian Culture. She is currently working on a book about the representation of history through landscape in postwar Italian film, and researching the ambivalent relationship between Futurism and the photographic medium.”
Nicola Pezolet is a PhD student in the History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture program at MIT and is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada fellow. He studied art history in Quebec and Montreal, where he recently completed his master’s thesis. His latest writings were focused on the controversial legacies of the “Bauhaus idea” in postwar Europe and South America, as well as on late Surrealism and the formative years of the Internationale Situationniste in France and Italy, particularly the work of the artist and scientist Giuseppe “Pinot” Gallizio. His current research project investigates the material practices and ideological positions of several movements in modern art and explores critical debates surrounding the concepts of modernism and the avant-garde as they apply to architecture, industrial design and print culture. During the summer of 2009, he will be doing research in residence at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal on Tomás Maldonado and “scientific design” at mid-century.
Christine Poggi is Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in modern and contemporary art and criticism. Her book, Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism was published by Princeton University Press in January 2009. She is also co-editor, with Lawrence Rainey and Laura Wittman, of a new collection of Futurist manifestos, creative texts, and images, titled Futurism: An Anthology (Yale University Press, forthcoming 2009).
Born in New Delhi, India, Harsha Ram was educated on four continents – chiefly Australia – all the while in search of a fifth, the lost Atlantis of literature. Books and alphabets have provided him fragmentary maps, and foreign tongues have revealed the partial transparencies of local knowledge and the more uncanny intensities of articulated sound. Fascinated by literature and poetry from a young age, Ram seeks to trace genealogies of poetic forms and aesthetic paradigms against the shaping and dissolving forces of history. Educated in Comparative Literature at Yale University and currently teaching Russian and other literatures at the University of California at Berkeley, Ram is the author of The Imperial Sublime: A Russian Poetics of Empire. He is currently working on a study of the interaction between Russian and Georgian poets, intellectuals and artists during the revolutionary and early Soviet periods (1915-1930).
Website: http://ls.berkeley.edu/dept/slavic/faculty.html – ram
Professor Lucia Re earned her B.A. in English at Smith College and her laurea in Languages and Literatures at the University of Rome. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. She also studied Spanish and Latin-American literature at the University of Puerto Rico. Her translation into Italian of Borges: A Literary Biography by Emìr Rodriguez Monegal received the 1982 Comisso Prize. Professor Re’s book Calvino and the Age of Neorealism: Fables of Estrangement (Stanford 1990) was awarded the MLA Marraro prize for the best book in Italian studies in 1990-92. She has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Getty Senior Research Grant.
Jeffrey T. Schnapp has been the director of the Stanford Humanities Lab since its foundation in 2000 (co-director since 2005). He occupies the Pierotti Chair in Italian Literature at Stanford University  where he is professor of French & Italian, Comparative Literature, and German Studies. Though primarily anchored in the field of Italian studies, he has played a pioneering role in several areas of transdisciplinary research and led the development of a new wave of digital humanities work. His research interests extend from antiquity to the present, encompassing the material history of literature, the history of 20th century architecture and design, and the cultural history of science and engineering.
Jennifer Scappettone’s research and teaching interests comprise 19th-century through contemporary writing, with particular emphases on comparative modernism; the history and presence of the avant-garde; geographies of modernity and current transmogrifications of “place”; literatures of travel and displacement; barbarism, anachronism, and polylingualism; translation; Italian culture and its reflection or echo in others; feminist theory and praxis; relations between literary and other arts; and art history, visual culture, and aesthetics. Her current critical work, broadly conceived, explores writing’s response to modernizing and passing urban environments, while stressing that literature is itself a built (and entropic) environment. It likewise limns the traffic between artistic production and the transmission of history.
Olujimi Akili Tommasino
Akili Tommasino will receive his B.A. in History of Art and Architecture and Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in June 2009. His undergraduate thesis examines former Futurist Carlo Carrà’s adoption of Metaphysical painting. He was the inaugural Alice Stone Ilchman Scholarship Intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and an intern at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While studying at the University of Bologna he was an intern in the Exhibition Office of the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo).
Laura Wittman is Assistant Professor of Italian and French Literature at Stanford University. She is editor of France and Italy: Imagined Geographies, and co-editor, with Lawrence Rainey and Christine Poggi, of Futurism: An Anthology, coming out with Yale University Press in June 2009. She has published articles on Marinetti, Ungaretti, Montale, Sereni, among others. She is currently working on a book on the invention of the Unknown Soldier Memorial during World War One.
Vivien Greene is Curator of 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art at the Guggenheim Museum. Greene focuses on European art with a specialization in Italian art. She organized the exhibition Divisionism/Neo-Impressionism: Arcadia and Anarchy (exh. cat.; 2007), and was the cocurator for Boccioni’s Materia: A Futurist Masterpiece and the Avant-garde in Milan and Paris (exh. cat.; 2004). Forthcoming exhibitions include Utopia Matters: From Brotherhoods to Bauhaus, Vorticism in London and New York, 1914-1 8, and a large-scale presentation on Italian Futurism. Her latest publications are “Aestheticism and Japan: The Cult of the ‘Orient,’” in the Guggenheim catalogue, The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 (2009), and “Divisionism’s Symbolist Ascent,” in Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters (London: National Gallery, 2008). Greene was the recipient of a Fulbright Travel Grant to Italy and a Pre-doctoral Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies at the American Academy in Rome. She holds a Ph.D. in Nineteenth-Century European Art History from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a B.A. in Comparative Literature in French and Italian from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Francesco Pellizzi studied the Classics and Comparative Religions at the University of Rome, and Anthropology at the E.P.H.E.S.S., in Paris. He wrote a dissertation on the “Jurupari” ritual-mythological complex of the North-West Amazon Basin, under the direction of Claude Lévi-Strauss (D. Litt., Rome, 1966). He was then a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University (1967-69: M.A., Social Anthropology,1969), and joined the Harvard Chiapas Project, carrying out fieldwork among the Maya people of the Chiapas Highlands, in Southern Mexico (1969-72) and as Teaching Fellow (1973-4). Since 1974, he has been an Associate in Middle American Ethnology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. In 1981, he co-founded there the journal RES – Anthropology and Aesthetics, dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of art and cult objects, of which he has been the Editor since 1983.
Krukowski studied at Harvard, concentrating in social studies and continuing on to graduate work in English and comparative literature, but left the academy when his ﬁrst band, Galaxie 500, started touring extensively in the late 1980s. After the inevitable band break-up, he and his partner Naomi Yang began recording as a duo, Damon & Naomi, releasing ﬁve albums on Sub Pop Records (1992–2002) before founding their own label, 20/20/20. Krukowski and Yang are also book publishers, editor and designer respectively of Exact Change, a press based in Cambridge that specializes in writings associated with avant-garde art movements of the twentieth century such as pataphysics, Dada, and surrealism. Krukowski’s own writings include a collection of poems, 5000 Musical Terms (Burning Deck Press, 1995), and a book of prose poems, The Memory Theater Burned (Turtle Point Press, 2004). In addition to poetry, Krukowski often writes about music for ArtForum and other periodicals.
Professor of Itallian Cultural History at University College London. Research areas have included museum studies, modern Italian history and cultural studies, social movements, contemporary art. Publications: States of Emergency: Cultures of Revolt in Italy, 1968-78 (Verso, 1990) and the edited and co-edited volumes: The Museum Time-Machine (Routledge, 1987), Culture and Conflict in Postwar Italy (Macmillan, 1990), Italian Cultural Studies (Oxford University Press, 1996), The New History of the Italian South (Exeter University Press, 1997), and Italian Cityscapes (Exeter University Press, 2005). Most recent publications on the visual arts: Arte Povera (Tate Publications, 2005) and Marcello Levi: Portrait of a Collector – From Futurism to Arte Povera (hopefulmonster, 2006). Currently working on a book on the films of Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi.