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Living art and the art of living: remaking home in Italy in the 1960s

Kittler, T; (2014) Living art and the art of living: remaking home in Italy in the 1960s. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the social, material, and aesthetic engagement with the image of home by artists in Italy in the 1960s to offer new perspectives on this period that have not been accounted for in the literature. It considers the way in which the shift toward environment, installation and process-based practices mapped onto the domestic at a time when Italy had become synonymous with the design of environments. Over four chapters I explore the idea of living-space as the mise-en-scène, and conceptual framework, for a range of artists working across Italy in ways that both anticipate and shift attention away from accounts that foreground the radical architectural experiments enshrined in MoMA’s landmark exhibition Italy: the New Domestic Landscape (1972). I begin by examining the way in which the group of temporary homes made by Carla Accardi between 1965 and 1972 combines the familiar utopian rhetoric of alternative living with attempts to redefine artistic practice at this moment. I then go on to look in turn at the sculptural practice of artists Marisa Merz and Piero Gilardi in relation to the everyday lived experience of home. This question is first considered in relation to the material and psychic challenges Merz poses to the gendering of homemaking with Untitled (Living Sculpture) 1966. I then go on to explore the home, as it might be understood in ecological terms, through an examination of the polyurethane microhabitats made by Gilardi. These themes are finally drawn together by looking at a radically different type of work, Carla Lonzi’s book Autoritratto (1969). By examining the images interspersed throughout Autoritratto I consider how this book plays out the lives of fourteen prominent artists to create the semblance of an everyday shared lived experience.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Living art and the art of living: remaking home in Italy in the 1960s
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1435866
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