'Off-Identikit' is a documentary film about the extraordinary figure of Francesca Alinovi. During the 1970’s & 80’s, Bologna (Italy) and New York (United Stated) streets were undergoing new avant-garde movements. While many remained skeptical, Francesca Alinovi, an art critic from Italy, took strong admiration and immediately pioneered her discoveries all across Italy and Europe. She was also one of first who created a new figure in the contemporary art world: the art critic as an artist. She organized exhibitions for museums and galleries, but at the same time she chose to get out of the "ivory tower" crowd with intellectuals in order to follow the real dimension of being an artist. She was the first Italian woman brave enough to explore and discover new talents that way.
Befriending local graffiti artists, and greats such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring -- Alinovi was well on her way to becoming a superstar until tragedy struck. While back home in Italy, she was found in her apartment viciously stabbed to death, 47 times. With red lipstick, her bathroom mirror read “You’re not alone, anyway.” Francesco Ciancabilla, one of Alinovi’s students, who was unhappily in love with her, was pinned as a suspect and later found guilty – though he has always declared to be innocent. Just like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Michel Basquiat or Keith Haring - she was a shooting star…brilliant but short-lived.
The title Off-Identikit recalls one of Alinovi’s essays about the identity of the artist and the individual in general, during the post-modern era. After 30 years of silence, through this documentary, an "identikit" picture of Francesca Alinovi, will be drawn by the artists and intellectuals who met her, reviving the oral tradition of telling a story. Kenny Scharf, CRASH, Daze, Stefan Eins, Ann Magnuson, Toxic, Robert Kushner, Mariuccia Casadio, Luigi Ontani, Marcello Jori, Renato Barilli, Ivo Bonacorsi, Emi Ligabue, Vittoria Chierici, Gino Gianuizzi.
The documentary will include documents from Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Holly Solomon Gallery, Street Art, Pattern and Decoration Movement, Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Andrea Pazienza, Settimana della Performance, Raffaello Sanzio Societas, Padiglione Italia, Valvoline, L'Enfatismo.
Yes, we do have a mission! Our documentary aims to bring back Francesca Alinovi’s visionary idea of art. In Italy it's almost impossible to find any of her writings anymore, except for the catalogues of the exhibitions she curated, which are only available in the main libraries. Her book L'Arte Mia, which contains most of her writings, have been out of print for many years and was never even translated into English. It has become a book for an élite of intellectuals only. Regardless of her work relationships with international artists and art dealers, she slowly went forgotten to an international audience, because of language issues and carelessness by Italian critics. But these are not the only problems this documentary is trying to solve. In 1983, the case of Alinovi’s death nourished the pages of Italian newspapers and tv shows with conspiracy theories, eclipsing her life and her discoveries. Still today the Alinovi's case comes out once in a while in Italian newspapers -- we want this film to embrace her life and invite people to focus on her experiences and work instead.
They will also discuss the art scene they were involved in during the late '70s and beginning of the ‘80s, including Graffiti, Fashion Moda, CoLab, No Wave, the Pattern and Decoration movement, the rising of ABC No Rio.
WHO IS FRANCESCA ALINOVI?
Born in Parma in 1948, Francesca Alinovi graduated in Art History at the University of Bologna with Francesco Arcangeli, and specialized with Renato Barilli. In Arte In Italia nel secondo dopoguerra (Bologna, Il Mulino, 1978) she dealt with the chapters regarding Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana and Spazialismo. Author of Dada, arte, anti-arte, post-arte (Firenze, D’Anna, 1981) and with Claudio Marra La Fotografia: rivelazione o illusion? (Bologna, Il Mulino, 1982), she has published many articles and essays in magazines such as Rivista di Estetica, Bolaffi Arte, Domus, Frigidaire, Flash Art. All these writings are collected in the book L’Arte Mia. Interested in history of avant-garde and in the way the different arts (painting, theatre, architecture and music) relate to each other, she arranged and contributed to many shows, including Pittura Ambiente (Milano, Palazzo Reale, 1979), I nuovi nuovi (Bologna, Galleria Comunale d’arte moderna, 1980), Italian Wave (New York, Holly Salomon Gallery, 1980), Gli anni trenta (Milano, Palazzo Reale, 1982), Registrazione di frequenze (Bologna, Galleria Comunale d’arte moderna, 1982), Una generazione postmoderna (Genova, Roma, 1982-1983), L’informale in Italia (Bologna, Galleria Comunale d’arte moderna, 1983) and from 1977 and 1982 she organized in Bologna the International Performance Weeks along with Renato Barilli and Roberto Daolio. She also dedicated a whole issue of Interarte to New York Graffiti and designed the exhibition Arte Di Frontiera which was realized after her dead. As her last project, she wrote the manifest for ‘The Emphatism’ inventing a term which is still a declaration of how to look at the world in our contemporary age with a critical (and positive) point of view.
"I got to know of Francesca Alinovi from her writings when I was studying Art History at the University of Bologna. I remember when Gino Gianuizzi, the director of neon>campobase gave me the book L’Arte Mia: I felt lucky to be one of the few to own it. Since I moved to New York, I started researching about Francesca Alinovi’s experiences in United States and I decided to film a documentary about her life including her experiences abroad still unknown in Italy. I talked to artists she met and that she worked with when she was still alive, during her travels, back in the end of the 70’s, beginning of the 80’s, and I was surprised by all of them sharing my passion for this project. I discovered the real impact she had on their work and I enjoyed researching the art scene of that time, trying to see it with the Francesca Alinovi’s critical perspective. Everything she predicted is happening right now. I am an art historian first, and to me that time in art history is very fascinating because, from a social point of view, it marks the end of the Industrial Era and Mechanics and the beginning of the Knowledge Era. It is a limbo where anyone should be interested on passing through. This documentary will talk about No Wave, Graffiti, Fashion Moda, Pattern and Decoration movement, Nuovi-Nuovi and Post-Modernism but also about Bushwick, Italy, the economic crisis, internet, social media and the identity of the contemporary human being.
Francesca Alinovi was a source of inspiration to people who met her back in the days, to me when I was in the University, and I truly believe she could be a muse for the next generations as well." Veronica Santi
MEET THE DIRECTOR
Veronica Santi (director): New York based, Italian curator Veronica Santi, is an Art Historian with an international career in the arts. She graduated In Political Science from University of Florence with a Master in International Studies and in Art History from the University of Bologna with a Master in Contemporary Art. She is the art director for Spazio 522 in Chelsea and a writer for the Italian art newspaper Artribune. She organizes several exhibitions in New York and Italy as independent curator; among her collaborations: Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Italy), Florence Biennale (Italy), Arte Fiera Bologna (Italy), MAMbo Museum of Modern Art of Bologna (Italy), Tazza Gallery (New York), ArtBridge (New York), Italian Culture Institute (New York).
THE STATUS OF THE PROJECT
Production needs to be completed, and that's why we really need your help. The funds will cover the rest of the shoot, post-production, marketing, and self-distribution costs. We intend to apply to many film festivals across the world – thankfully, as of now, Francesca’s experiences in New York City have the chance to be screened at the Museum Of Modern Art in Bologna (Italy) as part of their Fall exhibition dedicated to the 30 year anniversary of her death. The economic difficulties have both been a challenge and an opportunity, but our small, yet passionate team is proud to have had the opportunity to give a cultural contribution to an important museum.
Thanks to your support, Off-Identikit will be a real documentary about Francesca Alinovi with a critical overview of our contemporary age based on her writings. It will also show her experiences in Italy, covering her life as much as possible.
WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING:
To date, all expenses have been covered by our director Veronica Santi, but we now need your help to finish the project!
All the funds raised from this campaign will help us cover:
- Travel expenses: some of the artists we still need to interview are located far from New York (Los Angeles, Italy, and Paris)
- Equipment Rentals and Insurance (sound gear, camera, filters, etc...)
- Various aspects of post production (editing, sound mix, graphics, etc...)
- Copyrights fees.
THANK YOU from the TEAM!
Risks and challenges
"The main obstacle was to contact people and see if they remembered Francesca Alinovi after 30 years. Great and internationally known artists have already responded with enthusiasm, everybody is collaborating as much as they can. I can just be thankful for that. And my crew is beautiful, everybody is working with passion. Plus, the story of the documentary is already written by this incredible woman. Now we really just need the funds in order to share her adventure. The only challenge is to make this amazing story into a high quality documentary, making it enjoyable for everybody to watch." - Veronica SantiLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)