On May 16, 7,30 p.m., the exhibition Pensatevi Liberi. Bologna Rock 1979 opened at MAMbo, the Art Museum in Bologna – 40 years after the great music event that on April 2nd 1979 gathered more than 6000 people in Bologna’s Palasport (the city sports arena).
Pensatevi Liberi (Think yourself free) Bologna Rock 1979 can be seen as the symbol of a great season, not only for music but also from the social, cultural, political point of view, which left a permanent mark in the history of this city and of Italy as a whole; a mark on which the exhibition, curated by Oderso Rubini and Anna Persiani, intends to focus.
Apart from the music festival itself, which saw the participation of punk, wacky rock and new wave bands well-known on the Bolognese scene of that time, such as Skiantos, Wind Open, Luti Chroma, Gaznevada, Bieki, Naphta, Confusional Quartet, Rusk und Brusk, Frigos, Cheaters and the US blues singer Andy J. Forest together with The Strumblers, the exhibit is built as a historical reinterpretation of this moment, to be later perceived as a landmark: a new anthropological outline, to highlight the defining elements that contributed to give birth and rise to the crucial socio-political role of Bologna in the history of Italian culture, and not only, between 1971 and 1985.
Through a number of pictures, videos, LP vinyl records, documents, comics, visual and graphic materials, original instruments and independent publications, the aim is to underline the connections, the abundance of contaminations that marked a season of great excitement: music, videos, art, comics, graphics, communication and politics have instinctively, maybe casually, intertwined, thus starting up a unique creative process.
The display intends to show how artists differing from one another could be brought together by their common way of working in total freedom, low-fi, as underground cultures producing culture. A timeline sequence runs across the four walls of the room, displaying a selection of events that marked the history of Bologna in those years: from the start of DAMS (Faculty of Art Disciplines at Bologna University) to the opening of GAM (Gallery of Modern Art), with its several editions of the International Live Arts Week, from Radio Alice broadcasts to the birth of TRAUMFABRIK, to the opening of the Disco d’Oro record store, up to the performances of the Living Theatre. And then again – the Nuovi-nuovi art movement by Francesca Alinovi and Renato Barilli, the Train by John Cage, the exhibition at the Neon Gallery, Bologna Rock and the big concert by Patty Smith, not to forget tragical events as well, like Francesco Lorusso’s killing, the Ustica massacre and the bombing at the Central Train Station.
Local events are mixed with national and international ones, in history, politics, culture, fashion, all marking this period: the birth of Apple Computer, the end of the RAI monopoly on information and the free radios, Blade Runner film release.
The exhibition is part of Bologna Estate 2019 and will last until September 29, 2019.
This post is also available in: Italian