Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today
Edited by Sharon Hecker and Raffaele Bedarida
Published by Bloomsbury, 2022
On the centenary of the fascist party’s ascent to power in Italy, Curating Fascism examines the ways in which exhibitions organised after the fall of Mussolini’s regime to the present day have shaped collective memory, historical narratives, and political discourse around the Italian ventennio. It charts how shows on fascism have evolved since the postwar period in Italy, explores representations of Italian fascism in exhibitions across the world, and highlights blindspots in art and cultural history, as well as in exhibition practices.
Curating Fascism treats fascism as both a historical moment and a major paradigm through which critics, curators, and the public at large have defined the present moment. It interweaves historical perspectives, critical theory, and direct accounts of exhibitions from the people who conceived them or responded to them most significantly in order to examine the main curatorial strategies, cultural relevance, and political responsibility of art exhibitions focusing on the Fascist period.
Sharon Hecker and Raffaele Bedarida speak to Pierre d’Alancaisez about the role which post-war exhibitions played in shaping our understandings of Italian Modernist art’s relationship with Fascism, their contested curatorial and art historical strategies, and the continuing difficulty of reading political signs in aesthetics.
Sharon Hecker is an art historian and curator specializing in modern and contemporary Italian art. She is the author of A Moment’s Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture, and co-editor of Postwar Italian Art History: Untying the Knot and Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art . For her work on Italian art, Hecker has received fellowships from the Getty, Fulbright, and Mellon Foundations.
Raffaele Bedarida is Associate Professor of Art History at Cooper Union, USA. An art historian specializing in transnational modernism and politics, Bedarida focuses on cultural diplomacy, migration, and cultural exchange between Italy and the United States. He is the author of Corrado Cagli: La pittura, l’esilio, L’America and Exhibiting Italian Art in the United States from Futurism to Arte Povera. Bedarida has received fellowships from the Center for Italian Modern Art and the Terra Foundation for American Art.