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Ephemeral Exhibition Spaces

28 maggio 2024
2:00 pm
San Francesco Complex - Classroom 1

Cultural chronicles of the 21st Century are filled with major exhibition events, which follow one another around the world, and are powerfully echoed in the various Medias of our present. Their temporariness conceals the fact that these events take part in a long history, which sinks its roots in the expo universelles of the 19th Century and finds a turning point in the 20th Century inter-war exhibitions.

My talk will focus on a segment of this past, namely the Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution, organized by Mussolini’s régime to celebrate, in October 1932, the tenth anniversary of the seizure of power (the march on Rome). Its experimental design, created by the leading modernist artists and architects of the time, had the task of impressing and involving visitors, who were called upon to immerse themselves in the climate of the period between the outbreak of the Great War and the beginning of the Fascist era through an exhibition space made up of false ceilings, plastic installations, lighting effects, photomontages, documents and memorabilia. The photographic reproductions of its rooms still convey the modernity of its style, and its adherence to the principles of the new Fascist policy; a policy that aimed to speak to the masses by relying on the strength and communicative power of images. Re-proposed in two following/further editions in 1937 and 1942, the Exhibition run through the completely consensus-building effort and inaugurated/created a new way of communicating with the public, that would influence the art of stagecraft long after the fall of Fascism.


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Maddalena Carli, University of Teramo