Rivolta femminile, Carla Accardi, Marta Lonzi: feminism, art,and architecture in mid-twentieth-century Italy

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2019
Erdoğan, Kübra Nesrin
Since mid-twentieth-century Italy was undergoing a paradigm shift due to the larger industrialization and modernization processes which consequently had its reflections upon society in the form of intersecting political, social, and cultural movements. Accordingly, this shift triggered some critical attitudes towards conventional gender roles, requiring new definitions of women’s identity against the prevailing social norms. Within this context, this thesis focuses on Rivolta Femminile, one of the newly emerged feminist collectives of the 1970s that contributed to the Italian feminist discourse considerably, and examines the imprints of its underpinning concepts on the spatial and theoretical productions of two of its members: the artist Carla Accardi and the architect Marta Lonzi. Delving into the tensions emerged between feminism, art, and architecture, the habitable art environments of Carla Accardi charged with implications of alternative domesticity and Marta Lonzi’s criticism of ‘modern architects’ and architectural canons constitute the core of the study. Even though the analysis of the feminist positions of the cases with respect to their productions is the essential point of discussion, a general scenery of the Italian landscape of the 1960s and 1970s is also presented in order to locate the contributions of these two women within architectural history and within the general political and social climate of Italy during that period. Therefore, this thesis is a portrayal of the distinct influences of a particular feminist collective on the design processes and production of space and aims at restating the visibility of those spaces and processes together with their protagonists in historiography.