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square THE LEVEL OF OUR DEFEAT:
THE ITALIAN MEMORIAL AT AUSCHWITZ AND THE HISTORY OF ART

Paolo Coen

 

 

ABSTRACT

According to an opinion officialy expressed by Dario Franceschini, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Italian Memorial in Auschwitz «is no longer suitable to Auschwitz and not accepted by Polish authorities». The article focuses on the history and the destiny of this multimedia and multiauthored art installation, realized by different Italian artists (among whom Luigi Nono, Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, and Pupino Samonà) during the 1970s on behalf of the Associazione Nazionale Ex Deportati (ANED), i.e. the Italian National Association of Former Inmates, for Block 21 of the extermination camp of Auschwitz I. More in general it deals with the role of Art History (and art historians) in the present society, and with the inability to give a loud and clear voice to its tools and objectives.