Freedom on parole: known also simply as ‘parole’, in the criminal justice systems of many countries it may be granted to a prisoner after a period of incarceration as a result of his or her exemplary behaviour. It is based on the prisoner giving his or her word (parola) or promise. Freedom on parole can be seen as a strictly regulated act of trust, a random permit (verba volant) or – through a shift of meaning – a field opening up to the infinite possibilities of parole, or words.
Osart Gallery prorogues the group show, revolutionizing the exhibition with new works by the exhibited artists, and some artworks by other masters of the neo-avantgardes: amongst all Alain Arias-Misson, George Brecht, Ugo Carrega, Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Jiri Kolar, Antonio Paradiso, Alain Satié, Aldo Tagliaferro and Luigi Tola. The selection of works, dating from the 60s on, is connected with the use of the word in several of the most fertile research areas of the neo-avantgardes: visual poetry, conceptual art and Fluxus.
The mingling of writing and visual arts, in addition to the reutilisation of supports that take on autonomous meanings, was fruitfully interpreted in numerous artistic groups, confirming the impression of Mirella Bentivoglio: ‘alongside the new poets, many artists have sought to demolish the ivory tower of literariness through the blows of matter, engaging the semiology of materials in the very concept of language.’
The show presents the research carried out by Fluxus, in which the relations between different media and operations straddling words and images are constituent elements. Among the artists of the group, the works on display are by Robert Filliou, Ken Friedman, Nam June Paik, George Brecht and Giuseppe Chiari.
The artists connected with international conceptual art who explored the relations between language and image exploiting different media include Peter Hutchinson, Vincenzo Agnetti, Maurizio Nannucci, Salvo, Emilio Prini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Gianfranco Baruchello.
The verbo-visual experiments that were developed by numerous movements and groups are illustrated here by the works of exponents of the visual poetry, like Paul De Vree and Jiri Kolar, and several artists of the Florentine Gruppo 70: Lucia Marcucci and Ketty La Rocca (whose works explore the combination of words with the representation of the body), Lamberto Pignotti, Sarenco and Michele Perfetti. The same experimentation is involved in Magdalo Mussio’s use of writing as oneiric registration and by the operation of cancellation through erasure performed by Isgrò. The multimateriality of the verbo-visual approaches is explored in the research of Mirella Bentivoglio, Maria Lai, Amelia Etilinger, Franca Sonnino, Anna Veruda, and Antonio Paradiso, whereas Irma Blank, Betty Danon, Chima Sunada, and Marilla Battilana move in the direction of a major focus on writing as gesture and sign.
Nevertheless all groupings are misleading, and the artists on display are situated amidst them, in the hybrid space between words and image: their research radiates in the infinite directions of an absolute Freedom on parole.