MUSEION - Museum of modern and contemporary art in Bolzano presents 'Lucia Marcucci. Poesie e no'

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MUSEION - Museum of modern and contemporary art in Bolzano presents 'Lucia Marcucci. Poesie e no'
Lucia Marcucci, Prima linea, 1965. Collage su legno, 36 x 40 x 3 cm. Courtesy Andrea Sirello.

BOLZANO.- Museion Passage – a freely accessible space dedicated to enhancing the museum's collection and its links with the local territory – hosts Poesie e no, an exhibition that marks the 90th birthday of Italy's leading exponent of Visual Poetry, Lucia Marcucci. The artist’s work is included in the Archivio di Nuova Scrittura, a collection donated to Museion and the Mart museum by Paolo della Grazia in 2020.

The exhibition highlights Marcucci's artistic research and experimentation in the 1960s and 1970s, through both her works and numerous theoretical and poetic writings. The works come from the Mart, the artist's private archive, and from the Archivio di Nuova Scrittura part of the museum collection. Museion’s focus on this figure is part of its ongoing research into the works and artists in its collection: This includes underlining the contemporary nature of their art and the different artistic and interdisciplinary connections they create.

Marcucci's works speak about post-World War II Italy. A society characterized by an economic boom, social and political reorganization and, towards the end of the 1960s, also by student protests and feminist movements. In this climate, many artists chose to express themselves in unconventional ways with new techniques and by creating a new definition of interdisciplinarity that can be seen in the artist's works too.

The title of the exhibition, Poesie e no, derives from a poem-show of Lamberto Pignotti and Eugenio Miccini first presented in 1963 at the invitation of Lucia Marcucci, under the direction of Enrico Sirello. The presentation was then repeated several times in the following years, with the participation of the artis herself. The title, like the entire exhibition, is intended to emphasize how Marcucci's artistic practice has always been characterized by the encounter between 'high' and 'low' culture and between literary language and everyday life expressed through the mass media. This is the reason for its tragic but ironic combination of text and image, painting and collage.

The visual and sound collage of the first performance of Poesie e no appears, on one hand, to be a tribute to the Dada and Futurist tradition of research into language, carried out by Gruppo 70 - an artistic collective established in Florence, of which Lucia Marcucci was a member - and on the other, an expression of the artist's non-linear approach to art.

The exploration of written word in its various declinations starts from a critical, protest-like attitude that is sometimes markedly militant, but always ironic and free. These characteristics also inspire the exhibition layout, curated by the Bruno graphics studio in Venice.

The works by Marcucci exhibited at the Piccolo Museion - Cubo Garutti, on the other hand, are located in a temporal parenthesis closer to the present day. These are iconic images from the history of art, such as Botticelli's Venus or Leonardo's Mona Lisa, printed on large canvases enriched by pictorial interventions that play with the images and extend their expropriation by mass culture.

The Museion exhibition runs parallel to the exhibition L'Offesa at ar/ge kunst, Bozen/Bolzano, curated by Francesca Verga and Zasha Colah.

The two solo shows gravitate around the experience that gave rise to the Poesie e no happening. The collage of visual and linguistic signs that characterizes this series of performances allows the two institutions to develop complementary strands of Marcucci's work. On one hand, there is the investigation of language, starting with the critique of consumer society on display at Museion, and on the other, the presence of the verb and body in militancy, through an interpretation, featuring contemporary voices in the exhibition at ar/ge kunst.

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