A Difficult Heritage: The Afterlife of Fascist-Era Architecture, Monuments, and Works of Art in Italy

Internationale Studientagung

  • Beginn: 11.03.2019 10:00
  • Ende: 12.03.2019 20:00
  • Ort: American Academy in Rome, Via Angelo Masina 5, 00153 Rom und Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
A Difficult Heritage: The Afterlife of Fascist-Era Architecture, Monuments, and Works of Art in Italy
Many urban projects realized during the Ventennio remain part of the Italian landscape and, together with architectural monuments and works of art, create a constellation of surviving images of Fascist visual culture in contemporary Italy. As part of the national cultural heritage these artefacts are protected by preservation laws. However, in the ambiguous process whereby Italy confronts its Fascist and colonial past, they have also become a nexus of critical debate and political struggle.

The conference focuses on the material history of Fascist-era works of art, monuments and architecture in Italy, and examines their afterlife and reception in the longue durée. In order to frame the contemporary debate, a transdisciplinary approach and a historical perspective will take as its starting point the iconoclasm following the Fall of the Regime (July 25th, 1943). Papers will explore the ambiguous transition from Fascism to the Republic and the dynamics of postwar censorship. Moreover, the critical examination of artistic historiography, together with the main narratives of the history of Italian art, aims to underline elements of continuity throughout the 20th century. It also permits a re-examination of the damnatio memoriae implicating some of the artists close to the Regime and the role played by private collections in the preservation and survival of Fascist-era works of art.

Probing the theoretical concept of 'difficult heritage' in relation to the peculiarities of the Italian case, and in a comparative perspective with other nations, the conference addresses issues of restoration, display, and critical preservation of Fascist-era artefacts located in public and institutional spaces. The event aims to foster a discussion open to different disciplines such as History, History of Architecture, Heritage Studies, Literature, Philosophy, and Anthropology, and to examine the potential contribution of Art History to the topic. Strategies of memorialization and the role of contemporary art interventions will be discussed in an open dialogue with artists focusing on political monuments and multilayered memories in public space.

Presentations will be held in English and Italian. The conference and the discussion are open to the public. No registration required.

The project is made possible in part by the Fellows' Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.
PROGRAM (may be subject of minor changes)

Monday, 11 March Bibliotheca Hertziana — Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte

10:00 Welcome Tristan Weddigen, Bibliotheca Hertziana, MPI

10:10 Introduction Fascist-Era Artefacts in Italy: From Iconoclasm to Critical Preservation Carmen Belmonte, American Academy in Rome

10:30-11:45 Works of Art and Historiography Chair Peter Benson Miller, American Academy in Rome

Fascism and the Arts: A Difficult Legacy Giuliana Pieri, Royal Holloway, University of London

Religioni politiche. Amnesia e rimozione nella storia dell'arte italiana postbellica Michele Dantini, Università per Stranieri di Perugia/IMT Scuola di Alti Studi, Lucca

11:45 Break

12:00-13:15 The Multiple Lives of Buildings Chair Lynne Lancaster, Ohio University/American Academy in Rome

Architettura e fascismo: vita e destino delle opere per il regime Rosalia Vittorini, Università degli Studi di Roma 'Torvergata'

Questioning the Idea of Italy's Fascist Architecture as Difficult Heritage Hannah Malone, Freie Universität Berlin

13:15 Lunch

14:15-15:45 Monumentality Chair Maria Bremer, Bibliotheca Hertziana, MPI

The Negation of the Monument. Contemporary Strategies of Memorialization Andrea Pinotti, Università degli Studi di Milano

Projection of Freedom of Movement, short film, 2018 Nina Fischer&Maroan El Sani, Berlin

16:30-17:30 On-site visit to L'Italia tra le Arti e le Scienze by Mario Sironi (speakers only) with Eliana Billi, Sapienza, Università degli Studi di Roma.

Tuesday, 12 March American Academy in Rome

10:00 Welcome John Ochsendorf, American Academy in Rome

10:15-11:30 From Fascism to the Republic Chair Carmen Belmonte, American Academy in Rome

Corrado Cagli 1935 Race of the Barber Horses: Restoring and Interpreting Ester Coen, Roma

Revolutionary Iconoclasm and Damnatio Memoriae after the Fall of Mussolini Joshua Arthurs, West Virginia University

11:45 Break

Fear of Freedom. Carlo Levi and Alberto Savinio on the Legacy of Fascism in Early Postwar Italy Franco Baldasso, Bard College, New York

13:00 Lunch

14:00-15:15 Politics of Memory Chair Jim Carter, University of Michigan/American Academy in Rome

From Iconoclasm to Heritage: Mussolini's Legacy, Display and Politics in Contemporary Italy Flaminia Bartolini, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge, UK

Architettura e arte monumentale pubblica. Politiche di memoria, le due Germanie e il post-89 Liza Candidi T.C., Humboldt-Universität Berlin/Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

15:15 Break

15:30-16:45 Political Monuments and Contemporary Art Chair Lindsay Harris, Rome

Relations Between Italian Architectural Modernism and Contemporary Art in Tirana (Albania) through the Prism of the

'Unwanted Heritage' Alessandro Gallicchio, TELEMMe, Aix-Marseille Université

Witness Karyn Olivier, Tyler School of Art, Temple University/American Academy in Rome



Are monuments history?

Dell Upton (2019 AAR Resident) is chair of the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and professor emeritus of architecture at University of California, Berkeley

Adachiara Zevi is an architect, art historian, and president of Fondazione Bruno Zevi

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