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The “Body” in the Farnesina Collection in the Giornale dell’Arte

Il “Corpo” nella Collezione Farnesina sul Giornale dell’Arte
Il “Corpo” nella Collezione Farnesina sul Giornale dell’Arte

In its January issue, Il Giornale dell’Arte – a historic Italian magazine linked to the world of art and culture – devotes one of five thematic chapters to the Farnesina Collection. The chapters are written by renowned historians and art historians and provide an unprecedented account of the contemporary art collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In the focus “The Body“, also available online, Angela Vettese, lecturer and Director of the Master’s Degree course in visual arts and fashion at the IUAV in Venice, art historian, critic and curator, analyses the works of Vanessa Beecroft, Elena Bellantoni, Lisetta Carmi, Sandro Chia, Luigi Ontani and Marta Roberti.

“With a view to understanding the value of the Farnesina acquisitions in the framework of the art-body relationship, it is necessary to probe a long historical and artistic background in which, over the decades, our relationship with the physical aspect of life has come into focus: by no means taken for granted, but rather subject to unprecedented changes in human history, it could not but be one of the themes on which the rapid intuition of visual artists has focused its attention. This occurred in stages, however, following the gradual emergence of different urgencies. While, at the beginning of the post-war period, the urgency was felt to break out of ethical cages that were no longer functional, later other themes had to be explored: sexual morality; the advent of technology; the persistence of a classic cult of the muscular and performing body precisely while, on the other hand, at least Western society has gone on accepting – without hiding them – the mutilated bodies of Vietnam veterans; the phocomelic bodies of the children of Thalidomide; the different bodies of those who are victims of chronic illnesses and have the right to be included in the social structure anyway.

The works on loan to the Farnesina concern artists of different generations and we could not understand their meaning, nor consider them a composite but coherent whole, if not after having traced a general and international picture even knowing that, as such, it can only be synthetic and therefore lacking and inadequate. In spite of the long story about the new sense of self and its carnal envelope, however, we can think of everything except that it is an old-fashioned or outdated issue: we are probably only at the beginning of what lies ahead of us, from fertilisation on demand to the extension of life beyond a hundred years, from the cure for genetic diseases to the invasion of new epidemics…”

Download the full article here 4. CORPO – Giornale dell’arte


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