Creativity and the Production Sector: Artists and Industries in the 1960s.
The Case of Italy in the International Context

Barbara Tiberi, M.A.

The project aims to examine the phenomenon of the collaboration between artists, factory management and factory employees in the 1960s. Who conceived and promoted it? Which reasons and intended effects legitimised the collaborations, and how were they anchored to more general social and political discourses? Challenging the common assumption that only heavily industrialised countries stimulated such forms of collaboration in factories, the study aims to prove that Italian companies already played an active role in the cultural sector since the 1950s.
The preliminary focus, the collaboration between artists and employees, embraces many subjects and paves the way for a wider historical analysis of the period at the crossroads between the history of art and socioeconomic relations. The other key concern of this study lies in its attempt to find new ways of considering the 1960s and the period's conception of culture and creativity. These notions and institutional policies largely come from the economic and social narratives of the 1960s, when culture acquired a wider meaning and unparalleled political importance. The study is a piece in the puzzle of artistic narratives and industrial legitimations related to more general discussions on creativity in post-WW II society. Its ultimate purpose is to situate Italy within the wider context of Europe and the world during the Cold War, connecting local and international perspectives.

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