At CSAC in Parma, an exhibition rereads 1968 through an archival survey

At the CSAC of the University of Parma, from October 20, 2018 to August 4, 2019, the exhibition '1968. A Year'

At the CSAC - Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione of the University of Parma opened the exhibition 1968. A Year, a great story that, from October 10, 2018 to August 4, 2019, focuses, through a strictly synchronic cut, on a key year in the history of the twentieth century, returned through a survey within the CSAC’s archive, whose first nucleus was born precisely in 1968 and which today, fifty years later, boasts a collection of more than 12 million original materials in the field of visual communication and Italian artistic and design research from the first decades of the twentieth century.

Through ideas, utopias, works, projects and objects dated or related to the year 1968, identified within the different funds preserved at CSAC, this exhibition aims to bring out the transformations in the communication system, the socio-anthropological changes (the new myths and rituals), and a new reflection on the body and the environment, which exploded in that year. Different fields and languages are thus placed side by side to address the contaminations and coexistence of diverse cultures.

With the exhibition 1968. A Year, exactly fifty years after the exhibition dedicated to Concetto Pozzati, organized by the Institute of Art History of the University of Parma, which will initiate the first nucleus of works of the future Art Section of the CSAC, the organizers do not want to suggest a univocal look, but a series of contradictions, comparisons and new perspectives. If anything, they intend to propose a reflection on time and the concept of synchronicity that a large archive consisting of traces of processes of conception, design and realization, is capable of questioning.
The framework of the exhibition inside the Valserena Abbey Church consists of a long timeline, made up of objects, images and chronicles, flanked by a sequence of in-depth studies dedicated to the transformation of the system of images and the different scales of the design of spaces and territory.

Emilio Vedova, Mario Schifano, Giosetta Fioroni, Mario Ceroli, Concetto Pozzati, Claudio Verna, Aldo Borgonzoni, Fabrizio Plessi, Rafael Canogar and William Xerra are some of the protagonists of that artistic research that in 1968 constitutes a fundamental point of reference for other image-related projects such as the reportage and photographic experiments of Uliano Lucas, Nino Migliori, Mario Cresci, Carla Cerati, and Ugo Mulas, compared with the news recorded by the agency Publifoto Roma; or the different paths of graphic design, advertising and publishing, which sees precisely in 1968 the creation of the new Forma font for the Nebiolo foundry by Aldo Novarese, flanked by a team composed of Franco Grignani, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Bruno Munari, Ilio Negri, Till Neuburg, Luigi Oriani and Pino Tovaglia; or the explosion of beat and underground culture, with Ettore Sottsass ’s project for the magazine “Pianeta Fresco.” The language of satire will instead be represented by authors such as Renato Calligaro and Roberto Perini.

The multiple channels of television communication are told through Armando Testa’s projects for Carosello, but also by the RAI pavilions of Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and Archizoom, or with the transformation of radio and TV sets produced by Brionvega. Reflection on the body is represented at different scales: from jewelry to clothing, from the design of new places of youth culture to the redefinition of the scene and the reappropriation of public space. The confrontation of multiple sign systems and iconographies takes place through posters, dress designs, representations of gestures and photographic reportage: from the cinematographic and theatrical imagery with costumes from the archive of Piero Farani ’s tailoring (for the films Barbarella and Il cavaliere inesistente, for the theater with Il Barone di Birbanza) to the happening fashion shows designed for Mare Moda Capri(Walter Albini) to the affirmation of the fashion man(Carlo Palazzi) and knitwear(Albertina and Krizia).

The scale expands with respect to the architectural and territorial project: the living space is redefined by new objects that are the outcome of material experimentation ( Alberto Rosselli’s Jumbo armchair) and methodological reflections on the design project such as those of Enzo Mari. The city with its suburbs grows through important interventions such as Aymonino’s Gallaratese, or Nizzoli Associati’s Paolo VI neighborhood in Taranto, while Gio Ponti reflects on the shape of the skyscraper. The new infrastructures that are transformingItaly such as highway stretches with their truck stops (such as Renzo Zavanella’s), or the modification of the coasts with the creation of tourist settlements (such as Luigi Vietti ’s Costa Smeralda and Roberto Menghi’s Touring villages), or with which they want to intervene in the landscape as is the case with the competition for the bridge over the Strait of Messina (represented here by the proposals of Giuseppe Samonà and Pierluigi Nervi).
The Hall of Columns of Valserena Abbey will also be part of the exhibition itinerary, as a meeting place between archives in the area, with the intention of suggesting comparisons and connections. Here will be offered, alongside materials from the CSAC archives, some insights on crucial themes for this year. Thanks to collaboration with theTeatro Due Foundation Archives, the 1968 edition of the International University Theater Festival (FITU Fund) and the shows produced by the University Theater Center (CUT Fund) will be documented. On the other hand, the solidarity relations between the city of Reggio Emilia and some countries insouthern Africa, developed during those very years, will be told through materials from theReggio Africa Archive, produced by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and preserved and enhanced by Istoreco (Historical Institute for Resistance and Contemporary Society in the Province of Reggio Emilia).

1968. A Year is curated by a research group coordinated by Francesca Zanella and composed of Paolo Barbaro, Mariapia Branchi, Claudia Cavatorta, Giulia Daolio, Lucia Miodini, Paola Pagliari, Simona Riva (CSAC), Cristina Casero, Elena Fava, Roberta Pierangela Gandolfi and Valentina Bocchi, Sara Martin (University of Parma), Chiara Torcianti (Reggio Africa archive manager for Istoreco - Institute for the History of Resistance and Contemporary Society in the Province of Reggio Emilia), Giacomo Giuntini (Teatro Due Foundation). Francesca Asti, Giorgetta Leporati, Antonella Monticelli, Marco Pipitone, Danilo Rubino, and Barbara Zerbini collaborated on the research and realization of the exhibition. Graphics and exhibition design are by Daniele Ledda(xycomm) and Elisabetta Terragni(Studio Terragni Architetti).

For information on opening dates and times and for ticket prices you can visit the official CSAC website.

At CSAC in Parma, an exhibition rereads 1968 through an archival survey
At CSAC in Parma, an exhibition rereads 1968 through an archival survey

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