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Giornate del Contemporaneo-Italian Contemporary Art: “Antonio Ligabue, and the Taste Oscillations”, lecture by Alessandro Giardino (Saint Lawrence University, Canton, NY, USA)



Giornate del Contemporaneo-Italian Contemporary Art: “Antonio Ligabue, and the Taste Oscillations”, lecture by Alessandro Giardino (Saint Lawrence University, Canton, NY, USA)

On the occasion of the Giornate del Contemporaneo-Italian Contemporary Art (5-11 December 2020), promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) and Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums (AMACI), the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal is pleased to present the lecture by Alessandro Giardino, "Antonio Ligabue and the Taste Oscillations".

Monday, December 7, 5pm EST (23:00 Rome)

Registration required

A great protagonist of twentieth-century art, Antonio Ligabue worked outside of art’s conventional schemes, due to his mental illness and a situation of marginality aggravated by his exile in Italy, a country that he would always feel foreign. While his paintings were commonly associated to the naïf movement which was born in France at the end of the nineteenth century and picked up by Italian artists through a primitivist and strapaesana variant, his work can hardly be traced back to the nostalgic and reactionary spirit of such artistic manifestations. Instead, his art should be interpreted as an expression of psychic regression, which turned into style under the stimulus of critics and of the market.

In this webinar, Prof. Alessandro Giardino will focus on three aspects of the artist’s work, showing its oscillation between creative intentionality and critical reception. First, Giardino will analyze the series of self-portraits, by taking stock of previous critical interpretations and questioning the possibility of assigning meaning to an artwork regardless of its creator, even in a borderline case such as the one of Ligabue. Secondly, Giardino will juxtapose the series of savannah beasts with that of farmyard animals, in order to contrast two psychoanalytic interpretations – the interpretation which sees in art a crystallization of unresolved traumas and the alternative interpretation which advocates for art’s therapeutic potential. Finally, Giardino will examine the reception of the artist’s work from his death to the present day, addressing the many stylistic labels – naïve, expressionist, body art, ecological – that have been used to define his artworks.

Alessandro Giardino is Associate Professor and Co-chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Saint Lawrence University, N.Y, where he also serves as Coordinator of the European Studies Program. His research and publications have touched on different fields, and particularly on minority writing within a Mediterranean context and seventeenth-century Naples from an interdisciplinary perspective. His last academic book is The Body of Naples. Corporeality and Performativity in Baroque Naples (Ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). He has recently worked on a mixed genre novel (historical/fiction).


Date: Monday, December 07, 2020

Time: At 5:00 pm

Organized by : MAECI - MiBACT - AMACI

In collaboration with : Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal

Entrance : Free