Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today (Paperback)

Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today By Sharon Hecker (Editor), Raffaele Bedarida (Editor) Cover Image

Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today (Paperback)

By Sharon Hecker (Editor), Raffaele Bedarida (Editor)


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On the centenary of the fascist party's ascent to power in Italy, Curating Fascism examines the ways in which exhibitions organized from the fall of Benito Mussolini's regime to the present day have shaped collective memory, historical narratives, and political discourse around the Italian ventennio. It charts how shows on fascism have evolved since the postwar period in Italy, explores representations of Italian fascism in exhibitions across the world, and highlights blindspots in art and cultural history, as well as in exhibition practices.

Featuring contributions from an international group of art, architectural, design, and cultural historians, as well as journalists and curators, this book treats fascism as both a historical moment and as a major paradigm through which critics, curators, and the public at large have defined the present moment since World War II. It interweaves historical perspectives, critical theory, and direct accounts of exhibitions from the people who conceived them or responded to them most significantly in order to examine the main curatorial strategies, cultural relevance, and political responsibility of art exhibitions focusing on the Fascist period. Through close analysis, the chapter authors unpack the multifaceted specificity of art shows, including architecture and exhibition design; curatorial choices and institutional history; cultural diplomacy and political history; theories of viewership; and constructed collective memory, to evaluate current curatorial practice.

In offering fresh new perspectives on the historiography, collective memory, and understanding of fascist art and culture from a contemporary standpoint, Curating Fascism sheds light on the complex exhibition history of Italian fascism not just within Italy but in such countries as the USA, the UK, Germany, and Brazil. It also presents an innovative approach to the growing field of exhibition theory by bringing contributions from curators and exhibition historians, who critically reflect upon curatorial strategies with respect to the delicate subject of fascism and fascist art, into dialogue with scholars of Italian studies and art historians. In doing so, the book addresses the physical and cultural legacy of fascism in the context of the current historical moment.
Sharon Hecker is an art historian and curator of Italian art. She is the author of A Moment's Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture (2017), and co-editor of Postwar Italian Art History: Untying 'the Knot' (2018) and Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art (2021). Raffaele Bedarida is Associate Professor of Art History at Cooper Union, USA. He is the author of Corrado Cagli: La pittura, l'esilio, L'America (2018; English edition forthcoming) and Exhibiting Italian Art in the United States from Futurism to Arte Povera (2022).
Product Details ISBN: 9781350229457
ISBN-10: 1350229458
Publisher: Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Publication Date: December 15th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English