Aesthetics of Change - Fondazione Echaurren Salaris (Rome)
2019 - 2020

Initiated and curated by Alba Folgado

The project Aesthetics of Change investigates the history and influence of the artistic group Indiani Metropolitani (Metropolitan Indians), whose public representations reinforced the claims of activists during the autonomist movement in Italy. Inspired by the Dadaist and Futurist’s discourses, the Indiani Metropolitani, aimed to break barriers between art and life. They were active in Italy during the protests of 1976 and 1977 and acquired great importance among the inhabitants of the city. The collective was composed by several members of the artistic community, students, and activists, who integrated in their work music, costumes, and facial paintings with the intention of attracting the media and made their protests more effective. As a result, they managed to create a strong link between social struggles and performative actions.

Taking these events as a starting point, the project examines the influence that past and current urban mobilizations have on artistic and curatorial practices. It explores the communicative strategies that artists and activists developed during the autonomist movement and in which way their experimental approaches, such as the use of free-radios or intervened newspapers, have influenced contemporary art narratives.

The research phase of this project was undertaken by Alba Folgado between September and October 2019. 

Detail of the satirical Italian magazine Il Male, which depicts the situation of workers at the Fiat factory in 1979.
Photography by Alba Folgado.

This project is supported by Creative Europe programme through i-Portunus.