Performing Naples in the 1970s: Artistic Experiments in the Urban Context

Dr. Roberta Minnucci

Dr. Minnucci’s research project investigates how, during the 1970s, performative practices interrogated the city of Naples by taking into account a number of case studies that shed light on different approaches to the exploration and negotiation of the urban fabric in political, feminist and artistic terms. Using a corporeal and physical engagement, a number of artists challenged social and economic conventions, evoked ancient traditions related to the myth and the feminine, and activated the latent energy of sites dense with historical and cultural meaning. Through these actions, the city itself became an artistic device interacting with, and responding to, these performative works. Scholarly contributions on performance art in Italy have privileged more established artists and other urban centres, often focusing on specific institutions, events, or art galleries. The Neapolitan context has remained on the margins of this critical discussion, and is still awaiting to be fully examined in the academic domain. This research project will reassess the role of Naples in art historical narratives of the post-war period, while demonstrating how performative actions engaging with its urban context combined a wide range of historical and cultural influences, merging past and present in the creative reinterpretation of rituals and traditions in contemporary art.

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