chapter  2
39 Pages

Extramural Exhibitions

Volterra ’73 and Ambiente come Sociale
WithMartina Tanga

This chapter provides an overview of Arte Ambientale’s exhibition history and features three shows that took place in decentralized locations that marked a decisive shift in artistic and curatorial attitudes. Thses are: curator and critic Luciano Caramel’s Campo Urbano, which took place in Como in 1969, and curator and art historian Enrico Crispolti’s Volterra ’73, which occurred in Volterra in 1973, and his Ambiente come Sociale, which occupied the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1976. These exhibits are important entry points to understand the widespread and diverse nature of Arte Ambientale. Expanding beyond the confines of the “white cube” of commercial galleries, these open-air exhibitions reconceptualized art’s commodity status and created a space for direct impact on the town’s inhabitants and society at large. More specifically, the artists considered art through radical participatory interventions that embraced the public in the spaces where everyday life unfolded.