Italian Video Art Centers and Archives: A Treasure Yet to Discover

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Italy was a vibrant centre of Video Art production and exhibition throughout the 1970s and 1980s. This period was all the more remarkable because of the early and seminal experimentation in the medium and the international reach of the work produced. Artists connected to the Italian video centres include well known names such as: M. Abramovic, V. Acconci, J. Baldessari, A. Boetti, C. Boltanski, D. Buren, G. De Dominicis, A. Kaprow, J. Kounellis, M. Merz, N. J. Paik, G. Paolini, F. Plessi, B. Viola and many more. This seminal experimentation laid the foundation for Video Art practice, it was only a few years ago that the history and the social, cultural, political and economic circumstances that characterized its rise and its fall into critical oblivion, have been brought to light. REWINDItalia, the AHRC funded project I am part of as a Research Assistant, started from these premises. Because currently there is no Italian public and central archive for videotape only a relatively small part of the tapes have been retrieved and are available to the public. In this paper the present situation of some of the most important historical Italian video archives, centres and artists’ studios, (such as ASAC in Venice, which contains art/tapes/22’s videotapes, DOCVA in Milan, and Centro Video Arte in Ferrara, MuEL in Varese) are examined, showing the uniqueness of their cases. As an overview it aims to show that the seminal early Italian video production is still to be discovered to stimulate e interest from a research andcuratorial point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalAcoustic Space
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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