Reversing the Eye. Arte Povera and Beyond 1960-75: Photography, film, video


Co-published by LE BAL, Jeu de Paume, Triennale Milano and Atelier EXB, Reversing the Eye. Arte Povera and Beyond 1960-75: Photography, film, video offers to take a fresh look at the Arte Povera movement by incorporating it in the framework of the extended Italian scene of the 1960s and 1970s. 

After years of research in artists’ studios as well as in private and public collections, this book depicts a rich period when the Italian artists figured among the most influential interprets of the transformation in the visual languages. The Italian artists of the period appropriated the narrative power of the image to explore the realm of possibilities through books, posters, projections and canvas printings. This fresh perspective on the avant-garde of the 20th century includes a visual immersion in the political and cultural context of the time, referencing cinema, theatre, political events, happenings and press extracts.

This book displays more than 300 works of art by major figures of the Italian scene, including Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Luigi Ghirri, Jannis Kounellis, Piero Manzoni, Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto…

…to provide an overview of the history of the first ten years of video art would be to recount how different sensibilities came to terms with the presence of time, but, inevitably, only by doing so work by work, almost as if one could gather together in a sort of atlas the innumerable emotions of time that the duration of a few minutes could contain. It would be an endless list: Paolini’s instant; De Dominicis’s eternity; Ontani’s suspended time; the ritualized time of Calzolari; Kounellis’s hieratic time; the primordial time of La Rocca; Claudio Parmiggiani’s empty time; the fold in time of Boetti’s ambidextrous universe; Anselmo’s cosmic time; the divine mathematics allowing Grisi’s time to be measured; Vaccari’s real time; and Chiari’s arrhythmia.”
– Elena Volpato
Extract from the text “‘Art came first’ The origins of video art in Italy”, published in the catalogue.

Discover the book

Reversing the Eye. Arte Povera and Beyond 1960-75: Photography, film, video
Texts by Giuliano Sergio / Elena Volpato, with the contribution of Flavio Rugarli
Co-edited by Atelier EXB, Jeu de Paume, LE BAL and Triennale Milano
Graphic desing by Coline Aguettaz
21 × 23.5 cm
420 pages
Price: €55 



Visites de l'exposition par les co-commissaires

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Mercredi 12 octobre - 18h et 19h

Reversing the Eye

Arte Povera and Beyond 1960-75: Photography, film, video

Exhibition from 11 Octobre 2022 to 29 january 2023

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