Enrico Crispolti - Alternatives and Decenterings in Italian Art Criticism and Exhibitions (1960s-1970s)

Juliane Debeusscher, M.A.

This postdoctoral research focuses on the activities of the Roman art historian and critic Enrico Crispolti (1933–2018) and more specifically on the notions of alternative and decentering formulated through his critical and curatorial activities in the 1960s and 1970s. These are explored through two specific angles. The first focuses on Crispolti's pioneering role in the diffusion in Italy of artistic practices originating from the socialist bloc (the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe) from the mid–1960s onwards, and his refusal to approach it from the simplistic angle of dissidence. The second deals with his research and affinity with art as an arena for experimentation and social participation, particularly in relation to public space. In both cases, the notions of alternative and decentering (alternativa e decentramento) provide us with significant keys and topographies for thinking about Crispolti’s contribution to the Italian art scene during the Cold War period, while inscribing it within a transregional space that includes Italy, France and socialist Eastern Europe.

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