Skank Bloc Bologna: Alternative Art Spaces since 1977

Skank Bloc Bologna: Alternative Art Spaces since 1977

Mousse Magazine

Front and back covers of Skank Bloc Bologna: Alternative Art Spaces since 1977. Mousse Publishing, 2024

May 21, 2024
Skank Bloc Bologna: Alternative Art Spaces since 1977
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Mousse Magazine & Publishing is delighted to announce the publication of Skank Bloc Bologna: Alternative Art Spaces since 1977, now available on our online shop.

Someone’s got a question but there’s 
Nothing left to do [. . .] 
The Skank Bloc Bologna keeping us all alive 
Something in Italy [. . .] 
Now they’re livin’ on a notion and 
They’re working on a hope 
A Euro vision and a skank in scope.

—Scritti Politti, “Skank Bloc Bologna,” 1978


Edited by Roberto Pinto and Francesco Spampinato, Skank Bloc Bologna: Alternative Art Spaces since 1977 chronicles the history of nonprofit exhibition spaces in Bologna from 1977 to the present. Whether individual initiatives, cooperative enterprises, or social centers, the spaces featured in this volume devised the “Bologna model”: one of a kind, compared both to the situation in other Italian cities and to the international scene.

The book’s title references a 1978 song by the English post-punk band Scritti Politti, which emblematizes the international perception of Bologna as an epicenter of political agitation and cultural innovation. A large body of photographic images and archival material enriches the publication.

In the featured essays, Roberto Pinto highlights the importance of creative realities to being independent, underlining the political commitment of alternative spaces. Francesco Spampinato traces the history of Bolognese independent cultural spaces, pointing out how they have been impactful on the territory and professionalizing for the people involved. Through his memories, Andrea Lissoni revives the 1990s in Bologna, transporting the reader through the smells, noises, and sensations of this exciting period. Lara De Lena examines the feminist dimension of these spaces and the role of women in institutional and non-institutional spheres. And finally, Davide Da Pieve reflects upon the profound meanings, implications, and contradictions of being independent.

The thirty-two spaces covered—each with a dedicated section—include historic venues that no longer exist as well as venues that are vibrantly active today: Adiacenze, Alchemilla, Ateliersi, Atlantide, Bartleby, Il Campo delle Fragole, Cantina Darth, Casabianca, Cassero, Depot, Elastico, Fiorile Arte, Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio, Isola Nel Kantiere, Làbas, Link Project, Livello 57, Localedue, Maison Ventidue, neon, Nosadella.due, Novella Guerra, Nowall, Parsec, Segreto Pubblico, Senza Filtro, Studio Cloud 4, TIST–This Is So Temporary, TPO–Teatro Polivalente Occupato, Traumfabrik, La Tregenda, and TRIPLA.

The project was the winner of the eleventh edition of the Italian Council (2022) call for proposals issued by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

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May 21, 2024

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