When art curator Giovanni Giacomo Paolin wrote a book in 2016 about the Centro Video Arte di Ferrara (CVA), documenting Ferrara’s pioneering video art production and exhibition, he asked me to design it.
Video art in Italy in the 1970s
Italy was a vibrant epicentre for video art throughout the 1970s and 1980s because of the international reach of the work produced and exhibited. Among the artists connected to Ferrara’s video art centre are names such as Marina Abramovic, Jannis Kounellis, Nam June Paik, and Bill Viola.
In 2015, G. G. Paolin started looking into the cultural, political and economic circumstances that characterized the rise and fall into critical oblivion of Ferrara’s production and exhibition of video art. An extensive archive of which only a relatively small part has been retrieved, digitalised and is available to the public.
Typography is set in Accidenz-Grotesk by the Berthold Type Foundry, to emulate an editorial design similar to what it would have looked like if the book was designed and published in the early 1990s when the CVA fell into oblivion.
In his book, G. G. Paolin examines CVA’s archive, showing previously unpublished and digitalised video tapes, which haven’t been shown for decades and feature unseen artworks by Robert Rauschenberg, Ulay, and Emilio Vedova among many more. The book also contains two exclusive interviews with CVA’s longest-running directors and a former conversation with the former Italian president of the republic, Sandro Pertini.
G. G. Paolin’s book aims to show that the seminal early Italian video production is still to be discovered to stimulate interest from a research and curatorial point of view.