Montages. Assembling as a Form and Symptom in Contemporary Arts

Montage, today, is a widespread procedure that doesn’t concern just artistic production, but also our daily lives and the use everyone makes of that huge visual archive that contemporary media place at our disposal. In a technologically advanced society, where the notion of postproduction regulates our relationship with images and objects, it is therefore necessary to thoroughly investigate the role, possibilities, and, most of all, anthropological and political connotations of montage; and to ask ourselves whether – in comparison to the heroic years of the avant-garde movements – montage has become a faded and standardized practice or if it is a more and more effective means to understand and reprogramme the world, especially in relation to the technical possibilities offered by new media and remix practices.

Cristina Baldacci, PhD in Contemporary Art History and Theory, was postdoctoral researcher at Università Iuav di Venezia, and is currently fellow at ICI Berlin. She is also a curator of exhibitions and a critic for art magazines. Her research interests focus on the archive and atlas as visual forms of knowledge; montage and reenactment strategies; contemporary sculpture and installation art; art and new media. She recently released the monograph Archivi impossibili. Un’ossessione dell’arte contemporanea (2016).

Marco Bertozzi is Professor of Documentary and Experimental Cinema at Università Iuav di Venezia and filmmaker. He has published numerous studies on documentary cinema and the relationships between cinema, architecture, and the city. His latest books are: Storia del documentario italiano (2008); Recycled Cinema (2012); Documentario come Arte. Riuso, performance, autobiografia nell’esperienza del cinema contemporaneo (2018). As a filmmaker, Bertozzi has directed, among others, Roman Notes (2004), Predappio in luce (2008) and Cinema grattacielo (2017).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Montage in Contemporary Art. A New Technical Tradition Prompting a Non-teleological Philosophy of History
Angela Vettese

Introduction.
The Euphoric Explosion of an ‘Ars Combinatoria’
Cristina Baldacci, Marco Bertozzi

PART I: THEORETIC CONSTELLATIONS

Introductory Thoughts on the Legacy of the Fragment
Marta Kuzma

Fragment Montages and Romantic Combinatorics
Olivier Schefer

A Childhood Memory by James Rosenquist. On Montage and Its Properties
Philippe-Alain Michaud

Interactivity, Montage and Technologies of Sensitivity
Pietro Montani

PART II: EDITING APPROACHES IN THE VISUAL ARTS AND OTHER LANDS

Life is Editing
Antoni Muntadas

Editing as a Performative and Collaborative Practice. Ryan Trecartin’s Hectic Video Collages
Cristina Baldacci

Figurable Disaster. On Berlinde De Bruyckere’s Working Atlas
Angela Mengoni

Adieu au Language: From Cinematic Montage to Curatorial Parcours. Questions of Cinematic and Curatorial Aesthetics
Mark Nash

Montage in Contemporary Theatre
Daniela Sacco

On Montage in Architecture
Renato Bocchi

PART III: CINEMATIC VISIBILITY IN MOTION

Upheaval in the Contemporary Cinema. Editing and Found Footage Film
Marco Bertozzi

Eisenstein and Vertov 1923-29. Attractions, ‘Kino-Eye’, Materialist Montage
Antonio Somaini

‘L’Empreinte en Mémoire’. Duchamp’s Cinema Projects and ‘Superimposition Editing’
Marco Senaldi

Visibility, as Harun Farocki Sees it
Christa Blümlinger

‘Bring Together Things That did not Seem Predisposed to be so’. Jean-Luc Godard and the Critical Potential of Montage
Francesco Zucconi

Bibliography

The Authors