COLLOQUE : Visualizing Otherness in Modern Italy

LIEU: Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai, Via dei Servi 51, I–50122 Florence

DATES: February 26 – 27, 2015

Visualizing Otherness in Modern Italy (XIX-XX Century)

Organized by Melania Savino and Eva-Maria Troelenberg Max-Planck-Research Group « Objects in the Contact Zone – The cross-cultural Lives of Things »

Throughout the modern history of Italy, objects and cultural and
artistic practices from non-European cultures such as Africa, the Arab
world, South and Southeast Asia, China and South America have
contributed to the construction of a modern Italian visual identity.
Cross-cultural and cross-national exchanges between Italy and
non-Western countries led to the introduction of « other » visual
practices and codes into the Italian framework, where they contributed
to redefinitions of visual narratives or the hybridization of
iconographic languages. Against the background of historical
circumstances such as the rise of nationalist movements and colonial
sentiments, these encounters have not only raised questions about the
possibilities of understanding between European and non-European
cultures but also participated in the creation of a new visual language.

Yet these phenomena are understudied and deserve to be examined
critically in the light of complex networks of multiple cross-national
and international interactions. Most of the existing studies in this
field explore these themes in the visual cultures of other European
countries and the interplay of Italian traditions with other cultures
has never been fully assessed.

By shedding light on the transformation of the artistic, museological
and cultural practices in Italy from the beginning of the nineteenth
century up to the end of the Second World War, the proposed workshop
aims to explore and demonstrate how « other » works of art and traditions
have played an active role in shaping the modern Italian visual
identity. This workshop therefore is primarily concerned with the
perceptions of such objects or cultural and aesthetic practices within
the narratives of modern Italy.


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Melania Savino, Eva-Maria Troelenberg
Welcome and Introduction

Olga Bush, New York
Bringing the World Home: Collection and Display at the Castello
D’Albertis (Genoa, 1890’s-1930’s)

Stefano Anastasio, Florence
The Ancient Near East in the Archaeological Museum of Florence

15.45 Break

Laurie Kalb, Rome
Exhibiting Ethnography and Antiquities in the Fascist-Era World’s Fair
Complex of EUR

Melania Savino, Florence
Traveling Objects: Mesopotamia Exhibited in Italy

Friday, 27 February 2015

Carmen Belmonte, Florence
Representing the Enemy, Depicting Defeats: Colonial Visual Culture in
Nineteenth-century Italy

Mariana Aguirre, Mexico City
Ardengo Soffici’s Manichini Africani: Arcaismo, Classicism and French

11.30 Break

Viviana Tagliaferri, Athens
The Turkish Parade of Potenza: Historical and Imagined Figures in the
Public Space of the City

12.45 Final Discussion

Melania Savino

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