Part Two: Situazione 67
In the pages of the catalogue for the Museo Sperimentale d’Arte Contemporanea, Celant wrote a text entitled “Situazione 67,”
in which he defines the goal of “experimental research.” The term “designates a process aimed at deactivating the traditional interpretative scheme acting against an institutionalized situation…experimental research operates in the ‘situation’…trying to open up a new vision of the world, and works at discovering new expressive ways of working, pointing to new possibilities of the visual ‘discourse.’”
Celant wrote these words for an exhibition in Turin, which took place in a crucial year: 1967. The “avant-garde” continued to be the framework that bounded the dialogical interactions that emerged in the city during this decade—between the public and private sectors, local and international forces, and among different generations and disciplines.
In Turin, there was a strong beat atmosphere, with the influence of electronic music entering the city through Luciano Berio and Luigi Nono. That year, the publisher Einaudi issued the first Italian translation of Herbert Marcuse’s One-dimensional man (1964). At Teatro Stabile, as part of the Proposte series, poetic experiences blended with musical and artistic ones, involving young artists such as Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis and Giulio Paolini. The association Unione Culturale brought experimental theater and underground cinema to Turin, presenting works by artists, musicians, and filmmakers including Carmelo Bene, Eugenio Barba, Philip Glass, Jerzy Grotowsky, Tadeusz Kantor, Laurie Anderson, and John Cage. In 1967, Jonas Mekas organized the film review New American Cinema Group at GAM.