The Zero Moment of History: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Thursday, March 10, 2016 18:30 - 19:45

Why did Italy’s most prominent counter-cultural figure abjure the post-war avant-garde, even as his work helped to dynamize its activity? Why, for all his own iconoclasm, did Pier Paolo Pasolini - director, poet, critic, and painter - specifically reject the ethos of abstraction? Along with his intermittent critical writings, the films La Rabbia (1963) and Teorema (1968) provide some answers, particularly regarding abstraction as a metaphor of - and vehicle for - the "barren wasteland" of neocapitalism. This talk will situate Pasolini's defiance of abstraction in the context of early 1960s Italy, specifically Rome's burgeoning neo-avant-garde.

'The Zero Moment of History': Pier Paolo Pasolini, Abstraction, Neocapital. From the forthcoming book, Against the Avant-Garde: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Post-War Art and Politics, 1960-1975 by Ara H. Merjian, Associate Professor of Italian Studies at New York University.

Ara H. Merjian is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at New York University, where he is an affiliate of the Institute of Fine Arts and the Department of Art History.


Event type

Free Public Lecture


Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, Spencer Road, Parkville