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Home, Habitat & Community in Modern Italian Art - HOA00083M

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Teresa Kittler
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This course will consider how the themes of home, habitat and community were imagined and redefined in artistic and architectural practice in Italy throughout the twentieth century. 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

This course will consider how the themes of home, habitat and community were imagined and redefined in artistic and architectural practice in Italy throughout the twentieth century. Each week we will focus on key moments or themes, beginning with urban space in the futurist imagination right through to seminal exhibitions such as Arte Abitabile (Habitable Art) (1966) and the turn towards the everyday in key artistic movements such as Arte Povera. Each time, we ask what was at stake in representations of living space and habitat, exploring some of the complex dichotomies that defined the country from its dialogue with artistic and craft traditions of the past within the context of rapid industrialization, to the so-called ‘economic miracle’ and the effects of American consumerism to the mechanics of Italy’s desire to establish a particular kind of Italian Modernism that would also become internationally influential. In turn we also investigate how artistic practice has helped to shape contemporary definitions of habitat and the environment.

This module draws on a diverse range of artists and practices including Lucio Fontana, Pino Pascali, Mario Ceroli, Piero Gilardi and Gino Marotta; filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Pier Paolo Pasolini alongside the television producer Giulio Macchi; collaborations between artists and architects for the Milan Triennale, Eurodomus and key sites of radical architecture in Italy in this period (such as the Piper Clubs of Turin, Rimini and the Space Electronic in Florence); transatlantic collaborations between artists associated with Arte Ambientale in Italy and the environmental practice of artists working in the USA (Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson) as well as key texts such as Lonzi’s Autoritratto.

Module learning outcomes

  • A critical understanding of the concept of habitat, home and community and its significance in twentieth-century artistic practice in Italy.
  • Knowledge of some of the main theoretical and historical approaches to the subject.
  • Familiarity with a range of art works and the way in which the meanings of such works have been contested.
  • The ability to look critically at a range of works made in a number of different media in relation to the themes discussed each week.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on summative assessment within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Barron, P., & Re, A. (eds), Italian Environmental Literature (New York: Italica Press, 2013)
  • Coles, A. & Rossi, C., The Italian Avant-Garde, 1968–1976 (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013)
  • Iovino, S., Ecocriticism and Italy (London: Blooomsbury Press, 2016)
  • Segers, M., Landscapes in Between: Environmental Change in Modern Italian Literature and Film (2015)
  • Lobsinger, M., ‘Domestic Environments: Italian Neo-Avant-Garde Design and the Politics of Post-Materialism’ in Robin Schuldenfrei, Atomic Dwelling (London; New York: Routledge, 2012), pp.186
  • Lumley, R., ‘Spaces of Arte Povera’ in Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962–1972 (London: Tate Gallery Publications, 2001), pp.41–66
  • Pinkus, K.,’Antonioni’s Cinematic Poetics of Climate Change’, in Laura Rascaroli and John David Rhodes, Antonioni Centenary Essays (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp.254–275
  • ———, ‘Italy in the 1960s: Spaces, Places, Trajectories’ in Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962–1972 (London: Tate Gallery Publications, 2001), pp.89–108
  • Schnapp, J., ‘Domes to Domus (or How Roberto Mango Brought the Geodesic Domes to the Home of Italian Design)’, in Grace Lees-Maffei and Kjetil Fallan, Made in Italy (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), pp.73–88
  • Scrivano, P., Building Transatlantic Italy (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013)



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

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