A study day on performance art and its presence

in Italian museum collections and archives


Curated by Marcella Beccaria





The history of performative practices coincides with key moments in the evolution of culture and art as a whole. With roots in the most ancient civilizations, multiple forms of performance permeated the twentieth century, giving rise to new forms of expression capable of going beyond codified categories. Starting in the 1960s, performance emerged as an artistic genre, representing one of the most advanced points of contemporary research and contributing to redefine the very concept of the work of art, the role of the artist as well as that of the audience. Although the crucial significance of performance is acknowledged within the history of contemporary art, and a range of performative practices have long been part of the programming of many museums, its presence in museum collections and archives continues to pose challenges. The pandemic emergency has also compromised the viability of multiple body-centred live art forms, identifying situations of risk precisely in the simultaneous presence of bodies.


Reflecting on the relationship between performance and museums' practices, AMACI has promoted cogli l’attimo, carpe diem, seize the day. With the support of the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, the day of study was curated by Marcella Beccaria, Vice President of AMACI and Chief Curator and Curator of the Collections of the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. The day was conceived to explore the main issues related to the ways in which this art form can be defined, documented, collected, conserved and transmitted within museum collections and archives, also taking advantage of the new forms of documentation and cataloguing offered by digital technology.


Focusing on the Italian situation through thematic panels coordinated by directors and curators of the museums belonging to the AMACI network, the day gathered the contributions from artists, curators, scholars and arts professionals.


The participation of the public was numerous, with over 400 unique accesses from 14 different countries, for a total duration of 495 minutes of lectures.







Institutional greetings

Onofrio Cutaia, Director General of the Contemporary Creativity sector of the Italian Ministry of Culture

Lorenzo Giusti, President of AMACI and director of GAMeC-Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea e Moderna di Bergamo



Marcella Beccaria, Vice President of AMACI, Chief Curator and Curator of the Collections of Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea





Performance as an artistic practice. The body of the artist. What will remain?

Francesca Grilli, Artist

Marzia Migliora, Artist

Michelangelo Pistoletto - Cittadellarte, Artist

In dialogue with Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Director MAXXI Arte - MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo



Performance as an artistic practice. Bodies and objects. How to transmit them over time?

Eva Frapiccini, Artist and professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Palermo

Marcello Maloberti, Artist and professor of Visual Arts at NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano

Cesare Pietroiusti, Artist and President of BoD of Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

Italo Zuffi, Artist and professor

In dialogue with Luca Lo Pinto, Artistic Director of MACRO – Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Roma



Performance: from dance to the theatre to the museum

Chiara Bersani, Performer and writer

Silvia Calderoni, Performer, actress and writer

Virgilio Sieni, Dancer and choreographer

In dialogue with Denis Isaia, Curator of the Mart collections - Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto





Performance. An ontological definition

Ilenia Caleo, Performer, activist and researcher

Lara Conte, Associated professor, Università di Roma Tre

Francesca Gallo, Associated professor, Università di Roma La Sapienza

In dialogue with Marcella Beccaria, Vice President of AMACI, Chief Curator and Curator of the Collections of Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea



Performance as an artistic practice. Performing with others. Work of art or document?

Rossella Biscotti, Artist

Francesco Arena, Artist

Nico Angiuli, Visual artist, Director, Performer and Professor in Performing Arts, Accademia di Belle Arti di Bari

Adelita Husni-Bey, Multidisciplinary artist and pedagogue

In dialogue with Caterina Riva, Artistic Director of MACTE Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Termoli



Collecting and archiving a performance

Dora Aceto, Editorial manager and coordinator of exhibition activities Studio Fabio Mauri

Uliana Pierina Zanetti, Head of Exhibition Activities and Collections of MAMbo – Museo d’arte moderna di Bologna

Duccio Dogheria, Mart's '900 Archive – Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto

Andrea Viliani, Critic, curator and manager of CRRI – Centro di Ricerca Castello di Rivoli

In dialogue with Emma Zanella, Director of MA*GA - Fondazione Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea ‘Silvio Zanella’



Selling a performance

Raffaella Cortese, Gallery Raffaella Cortese

Franco Noero, Gallery Franco Noero

Andrea Pizzi, Lawyer specialized in art law and intellectual property law

In dialogue with Lorenzo Balbi, Artistic Director at MAMbo – Museo d’arte moderna di Bologna







Participation is free, subject to availability, and booking is compulsory by Monday 21 March 2022. The initiative will be held on the Zoom platform, and the link for participation will be sent by Tuesday 22 March exclusively to registered participants. For further information, please contact:





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