Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Lea Vergine

Mystical Body and Social Body

LECTURE
20 July 2002
Spazio Culturale Antonio Ratti

Lea Vergine

Mystical Body and Social Body

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Lea Vergine talks about one of the themes that she elaborated the most, i.e. the use of the body as a language and an instrument of artistic experimentation, referring to the main differences between the first wave of Body Art in the end of the sixties and its rebirth in the nineties. The pivotal aspect of this second wave is the concept of the absence of the body, “which doesn’t disappear but is missing”, leaving a trace of its passing in the work and freeing itself from the continuous repetition of the action, which tends to be “pleonastic and pathological”. In that way, the body affirms itself as a social body, fragmented and carrier of uneasiness, but also as a mystical body, as it projects in the artistic practice some religious experience where everyday life erases the sense of sacrality.

Curator and art critic of Corriere della Sera and Il Manifesto, Lea Vergine (1938, Naples - 2020, Milan) is the author of important publications about issues of contemporary art. Among them: Attraverso l'arte. Pratica politica / pagare il '68 (1976), L'arte ritrovata: alla ricerca dell'altra metà dell'avanguardia (1982), L'arte in gioco (1988), Gli ultimi eccentrici (1990), Body Art: the Body as Language (eng. ed. 2000), Art on the Cutting Edge: a Guide to Contemporary Movements (eng. ed. 2001), Ininterrotti transiti (2001), La vita, forse l'arte (2014), L'arte non faccenda di persone perbene. Conversazioni con Chiara Gatti (2016). She curated numerous exhibitions, including L'altra metà dell'avanguardia (Milan, Rome, Stockholm, 1980-81), Geometrie dionisiache - in Italia oggi l'arte giovane (Milan 1988), Trash. Quando i rifiuti diventano arte (Trento, Rovereto, 1997-98).

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