On the 17th May 1952, before RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana Studios began their regular broadcast from Milan, the Spatialist painter and sculptor Lucio Fontana broadcast his own experimental ‘artwork’ on Italian television, beginning a fruitful relationship between RAI and visual artists. For some, it provided careers as designers and art directors, such as the painter Mario Sasso and the Arte Povera artist Pino Pascali, while for others, who were given unique access to RAI’s television apparatus, it was an opportunity to explore their own artistic experimentations with an expensive and exclusive medium, such as Carlo Quartucci and Gianni Toti. RAI also hosted seminal artists’ performances on screen including John Cage and Fabio Mauri. This article, based on documents and interviews collected during the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project REWINDItalia, discusses these and other seminal cases as well as tracing and assessing the history of this fruitful and complex exchange between RAI and visual artists.
- Relationship between Visual Artists and Television
- Television art
- Performance art
- TV Interventions