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L’irruzione nella vita e nel rimosso di un’avanguardia artistica al Sud

Maria De Vivo

In the 1950s the long wave of surrealism, more specifically the traces of its inheritance and overcoming, touched also the city of Naples: a semantic frame considered prone to magnetic exchanges between the high and the low culture. Taking into account a consolidated historiographical framework and drawing on broader sources in the reading of the phenomena (Villa and De Martino, for example), the following pages question the nature of some experiences inside and outside the Gruppo 58, where the refusal of art as uncontaminated and absolute purity resulted in language and action, and the sinking into the moods of the city became an instrument of ironic and grotesque revolt. The following pages explore the possibility of identifying issues linked to surrealism in a manner that is still vivid, unequivocal. Such issues include: the ethical-political commitment, eros, and the sacred, in the works of Luca and Giuseppe Desiato, two wandering artists in the removed of daily life and in the «anthropological memory of a popular and plebeian Naples». One wonders, in other words, whether it is legitimate to maintain that there is a connivance between the Surrealist universe and those experiences, even though they are not directly descended from it.