press release

Arte Povera and Beyond
1960-75 Photography, Film, Video
11 October 2022 - 29 January 2023

Happening in two Paris venues – Jeu de Paume and LE BAL (and coproduced with Triennale Milano) – Reversing the Eye looks into the relationship between a segment of Italy's avantgardes of the 1960s and early 1970s, and the mechanically produced image: photography, film and video. As fruitful as it was truly remarkable in the European context of the time, this relationship is partially explicable in terms of the looming omnipresence of the media in Italian society and the avant-gardes' quest for a critical, not to say political response.

The aim of the exhibition is not to address all the Italian avant-gardes of the period, but rather to home in on the setting of Arte Povera, this "poor art" as defined by the critic Germano Celant in 1967. A riposte to American Pop Art and contemporaneous with the activity on the international conceptual scene, Arte Povera was, as Celant put it, a search for a “free form of expression committed to contingency, to events, to the present", that would bring art and life together. And while photography, film and video are only rarely associated with Arte Povera, they were in fact widely used by members of the movement and so can equally be approached as "poor" media.

In addition to its focus on the movement's leading lights, the exhibition embraces their fellow artists – photographers in particular – as well as others who showed with them or had been major influences. Here four thematic sections are spread across the two venues:Body (LE BAL), Experience, Image, and Theatre (Jeu de Paume). Each of these terms pinpoints a specific questioning of the relationship to time and space (experience), the deconstruction of reality and its representations via images (image), the dimension of theatricality inherent in these media (theatre) and the very concept of identity and the role of the author (body).

The exhibition title, Reversing the Eye, is a reference to Giuseppe Penone's work of the same name, Rovesciare i propri occhi (1970), featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition will join the Triennale Milano in spring 2023.

List of Artists:

Claudio ABATE (Rome, 1943-2017)
Carlo ALFANO (Naples, 1932-1990)
Giovanni ANSELMO (born in 1934 in Bourgfranc d’Ivrée)
Alighiero BOETTI (Turin, 1940 – Rome, 1994)
Pier Paolo CALZOLARI (born in 1943 in Bologna)
Elisabetta CATALANO (Rome, 1944-2015)
Mario CRESCI (born in 1942 in Chiavari)
Gino DE DOMINICIS (Ancona, 1947 – Rome, 1998)
Plinio DE MARTIIS (Giulianova, 1920 – Rome, 2004)
Luciano FABRO (Turin, 1936 – Milan, 2007)
Giosetta FIORONI (born in 1924 in Rome)
Luigi GHIRRI (Scandiano, 1943 – Roncocesi, 1992)
Luciano GIACCARI ( xxx, 1934 – Varese, 2015)
Paolo GIOLI (Rovigo, 1942 – Lendinara, 2022)
Laura GRISI (Rhodes, 1939 – Rome, 2017)
Marcello GROTTESI (Rome, 1939-2020)
Franco GUERZONI (born in 1948 in Modena)
Paolo ICARO (born in 1936 in Turin)
Mimmo JODICE (born in 1934 à Naples)
Jannis KOUNELLIS (Piraeus, 1936 – Rome, 2017)
Ketty LA ROCCA (La Spezia, 1938 – Florence, 1976)
Piero MANZONI (Soncino, 1933 – Milan, 1963)
Plinio MARTELLI (Turin, 1945-2016)
Antonio MASOTTI (Calderara di Reno, 1918 – Bologna, 2003)
Paolo MATTEUCCI (born in Rome)
Eliseo MATTIACCI (Cagli, 1940 – Fossombrone, 2019)
Fabio MAURI (Rome, 1926-2009)
Mario MERZ (Milan, 1925 – Turin, 2003)
Marisa MERZ (Turin, 1926-2019)
Ugo MULAS (Pozzolengo, 1928 – Milan, 1973)
Paolo MUSSAT SARTOR (born in 1947 in Turin)
Hidetoshi NAGASAWA (Tonei, 1940 – Milan, 2018)
Ugo NESPOLO (born in 1941 in Mosso)
Luigi ONTANI (born in 1943 in Grizzana Morendi)
Giulio PAOLINI (born in 1940 in Genoa)
Claudio PARMIGGIANI (born in 1943 in Luzzara)
Pino PASCALI (Bari, 1935 – 1968, Rome)
Luca PATELLA (born in 1934 in Rome)
Giuseppe PENONE (born in 1947 in Garessio)
Gianni PETTENA (born in 1940 in Bolzano)
Vettor PISANI (Bari, 1934 – Rome, 2011)
Michelangelo PISTOLETTO (born in 1933 in Biella)
Emilio PRINI (Stresa, 1943 – Rome, 2016)
SALVO (Salvatore Mangione) (Leonforte, 1947 – Turin, 2015)
Gerry SCHUM (Cologne, 1938 – Düsseldorf, 1973)
Cesare TACCHI (Rome, 1940-2014)
Franco VACCARI (born in 1936 in Modena)
Michele ZAZA (born in 1948 in Molfetta)