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Marinella Pirelli, Appropriazione A propria azione Azione propria, 1973. Courtesy Archivio Marinella Pirelli, Varese

Now You Can Go: Marinella Pirelli Screening

5 Dec 2015

A leading experimental filmmaker from Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, Marinella Pirelli’s 16mm film explorations of light and movement remained wrapped up in a dark basement for over forty years and have only recently been publicly exhibited again. She was one of the few Italian woman artists working in experimental film and her works traverse numerous thematics connected to the body, the gaze and the relationship with the cinema apparatus/projection event. This selection of her works, showing for the first time in the UK, questions the paradigms of image generation and their relationship to narrative and cinematic convention. Included are Il lago, soggettivo-oggettivo (1965), Narciso (1966), Appropriazione, Azione propria, A propria azione, Sole in mano (1973) and Indumenti (1967), that features the Italian writer and feminist leader Carla Lonzi, whose ideas are a touchstone for the Now You Can Go programme. 

"Perhaps Narciso contains all the conscious moments of my life. I was three years old when I realised I could remember: for example the birth of my sister, fourteen months younger then me. And later on, recalling this very moment I said to myself: ‘If I remembered, then I also must have had had conscious thought.’ And so I said: ‘I will memorise it’, and I was doing this with all sorts of things that were capturing my attention (flowers, lights, colours, people, gestures, sensations). That’s because I wanted that every present moment was total; me always as a whole of all the things that I was and knew, plus the new moment, to not loose anything, always knowing that every single thing is transitory, lost, over, immediately dead, or better, different. So here is the adventure: the making of a thought, the approaching of the day, the entering of the darkness." Marinella Pirelli, 1966 – 67

Curated by Lucia Aspesi with Irene Revell.

Lucia Aspesi is a film curator and researcher. Since 2011 she has been in charge of the film section of the Archivio Marinella Pirelli, Varese. She is also Assistant Curator at HangarBicocca, Milan.  

Marinella Pirelli (1925-2009) was an Italian artist who worked across painting, drawing, film and light projection. She studied Literature and Philosophy at Padova University and, after several years living between Milan and Rome, settled in Rome in 1950 and started working at the animation production company, Filmeco. Active within the artistic milieu of the 1960s and 1970s, which converged at the intersection of Arte Povera and Arte Programmata, she was close to artists and critics including Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Bruno Munari, Achille Bonito Oliva and Carla Lonzi. Her film experiments ended in 1973 with the premature death of her husband, Giovanni Pirelli.

Irene Revell is Director of Electra and member of the Cinenova Working Group.

Now You Can Go

This is part of Now You Can Go, a programme considering feminist thinking, art and activism taking place across several London venues in December 2015. Juxtaposing historical with contemporary positions, the series explores feminist concepts of generation and genealogy. It asks whether practices of consciousness-raising and collectivity might help us to combat the fragmentation, exhaustion and anxiety that we experience under networked capitalism. The programme draws inspiration from Carla Lonzi, the writer and cofounder of the Italian women’s liberation group Rivolta Femminile (Female Revolt), and her refusal of power and rejection of masculine creativity that exploits female supportive activity. This process of ‘deculturation’ entailed Lonzi’s withdrawal from her roles as an art critic, as a feminist leader, and from her relationship with her lover, the sculptor Pietro Consagra, which she documented in a dialogue between them called Vai pure (Now You Can Go).

Now You Can Go grows out of the Feminist Duration Reading Group which meets monthly at Space Studios in London. The programme has been developed by participants from the Feminist Duration Reading Group including Angelica Bollettenari, Giulia Casalini, Diana Georgiou, Laura Guy, Irene Revell and Amy Tobin, and is coordinated by Helena Reckitt with Dimitra Gkitsa.

Multi-buy ticket offer:

When you buy tickets to more than one event in the Now You Can Go series, tickets are:

Full price tickets: £6
Concession/ ICA Members: £4
Student Member: £3


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