"TV 70: Francesco Vezzoli watches Rai" is a project conceived by the artist Francesco Vezzoli and developed in collaboration with Rai. Between individual experience and collective mythologies, the exhibition translates Vezzoli's gaze into a visual form that explores the television production of the 1970s.
Italian public TV is observed by the artist as a force for social and political change, in a country suspended between the radicalism of the Sixties and the hedonism of the Eighties, and as a powerful machine of cultural and identity production. During that decade, Rai rethought its pedagogical role and distinguished itself by the high cultural level of its products, such as collaborations with directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Federico Fellini, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. Divided between formal austerity and innovative power, television amplifies the development of the collective imagination in a plurality of perspectives, anticipating the narrative methods typical of commercial TV of the following decade. It becomes a specific medium and its programs undergo a progressive mutation: from culture they pass into information and finally into communication.
As Francesco Vezzoli explains: "With this project I wanted to create a risky and dense path, hard when the subject requires it, but also fun and surreal. A true investigation into contemporary customs and its roots, but with a critical sense of today. Television in the seventies produced rituals and, consequently, absolute and lasting myths that even today, re-proposed in this exhibition, can inspire unconventional choices ”.
"TV 70", created with the curatorial support of Cristiana Perrella, is conceived as a sequence of visual and semantic associations that takes shape within the Prada Foundation in the spaces of the North gallery, the Podium and the South gallery. The exhibition itinerary conceived from M / M (Paris) - Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag - is based on the encounter between spatial and temporal dimension in an exhibition schedule that combines, in the alternation between light and dark, the traditional exhibition conditions of a museum with the passage on moving image screen. The succession of intangible documents from the archives of the Rai Teche juxtaposed with the materiality of paintings, sculptures and installations - selected with the scientific advice of Massimo Bernardini and Marco Senaldi - is divided into three distinct sections and deals with the relations of Italian public television with the art, politics and entertainment.
"TV 70" ends within the Prada Foundation Cinema with a new work by Francesco Vezzoli "Trilogy della Rai" (2017), consisting of a montage of television extracts. By inserting the icons that marked his childhood and adolescence within the television stream that encompasses different genres and registers, the artist transforms archive footage into a living material and intimate and personal memory into a shared narrative. It combines in a tight schedule the traces of contradictions and aspirations of a country that is reflected in its media production. Gianni Pettena's installation "Applausi" (1968) is also exhibited in the cinema, an ironic invitation addressed to the visitor who lives the double and ambiguous condition of the television viewer and public of an art exhibition.