Transnational Encounters: Diasporic Narratives across Italy and Latin America (1960s–1980s)

Dr. Lara Demori

Dr. Demori’s research project investigates the presence of Latin American art and artists in Italy from the 1960s to the 1980s; it aims at surveying their reception, exploring collaborations with Italian artists and cultural institutions, and assessing both the impact on local narratives and the consequent formation of transnational dialogues and hybrid styles.
The presence of Latin American artists in the United Kingdom and France has already been the subject of extensive and ongoing research projects. However, the same is not yet true for Italy, where art history studies have always privileged transnational dialogues across Europe or with the United States, missing to acknowledge far-reaching contacts and migrations between Italy and several Latin American countries.
To fill this gap, Dr. Demori’s project scrutinises diasporic narratives taking place on the Italian soil at a particularly fruitful time for the arts, articulating the research in three interlocking chapters marked by different perspectives: the presence of Latin American artists in Italy; Latin American artists featured at the Venice Biennale and the influence on their contemporaries; connecting art histories, fleshing out travelling ideas. This last section focuses on, among others, the concept of guerrilla art as contextualised in the art and exhibition practice in Italy, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay; the notion of Opera Aperta as shaped by Haroldo de Campo (1955) and Umberto Eco (1962), respectively; and the influence of Jerzy Growtoski’s “poor theatre” upon the arts in Italy and Argentina.

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