Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GYSIART (A cultural history of comparative art practices and receptions in Cold War Europe (1945-1991))
Reporting period: 2020-02-01 to 2021-01-31
Among the scientific results achieved, I published articles in academic journals focusing on single players (Renato Guttuso, Lothar Lang, Gabriele Mucchi, Lev Nusberg, Ernst Neizvestny, and Harald Szeemann). These articles have been further contextualized and implemented within the monograph “Arte sovietica alla Biennale di Venezia, 1924-1962” (published in 2020 with Mimesis). The book analyzes the exhibitions displayed in the Soviet Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale against the background of the Italian cultural policy and the international Cold War, where multilateral relations with divided Germany, the Eastern bloc and non-aligned Yugoslavia played a primary role. The volume sheds light on the critical reception of socialist art in the international arena of the Biennale, highlighting the role of the Venetian enterprise as stage for international diplomacy, ideological persuasion and artistic showcase. The dissemination outcomes highlighted cross-border interpersonal connections and shared values, as well as ideological misconceptions and local adaptations, as significant cases of cultural transfers across divided Europe, thus contributing to the core concept of the GYSIART project: the productive impact of the cultural Cold War on the art practices within divided Europe.
The research fosters the understanding of communities and individuals across divided Europe. It showed to what extent an historical period, traditionally considered as affected by bias, bans and mutual isolation, generated artistic production and cross-border transfers of knowledge. Given the general interest towards Cold War narratives and imageries in the popular culture, this action attracted the interest of a wide audience (students, scholars, art professionals and public at large), while providing key tools to better understand the impact of this recent period of European history on contemporary society. Mutual understanding among artistic and scholar communities throughout Europe will be the main focus of my future institutional activity within the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Ca’ Foscari, through my recent appointment to both delegate for the Erasmus Exchange programme and member of the Research Committee. Within this framework, I intend to develop and enhance cross-border partnerships within European research projects, including the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions.