Arrigo Lora Totini
edited by Angela Madesani
Artist, concrete poet, father of Italian Sound Poetry, inventor of gymnastic poetry and liquid poetry, leading protagonist in Italy and all over the world of all subversive practices in relation to poetic writing and beyond.
His artistic activity began in the late 1950s and early 1960s
1963 is a particularly important year in his life. It marks his acquaintance with Henri Chopin, who not only ran a small gallery in Paris but, most important, the first international audio-magazine of sound poetry, OU Cinquième Saison, and with Pierre Garnier, who in the same year had published the theoretical manifesto on vital and primordial energy breath, the Souffle Manifeste. All concepts that we may also find in Lora Totino's sound poetry . In this period, marked by Group 63 literary revolution, ALT gives physicality to both word and poetry.
He began creating sculptures using typewritten paper and making some plexiglass Plastic Phonemes.
Speaking about his work, Giorgio Maffei used the term "multimedia vertigo". We can only start from this linguistic heterogeneity to enter LT's work and artistic research. His is a nearly unique ability to play with letters and words. In this exhibition , in addition to the works of the 60s, the Intertesti, we can also find the Gymnastics poems of the early seventies,in which the roles of interpreter and author are confused, the Dattilopoemi and the Verbotetture, which take inspiration from the historical avant-gardes,Duchamp above all. Historical Avant Gardes that will influence his Macchine Celibi at the end of the first decade of the 2000s, present in the exhibition, and ending a journey highlighting fifty years of research.
Through his Poesia Concreta, LT carries on a destruction of both syntactic and literary structures, as already done in those years in other areas. His Poemi Dattiloscritti are an infinite game of letters and words, of constructions in which geometry plays a determining role. The Verbotetture, with a Loratotinian neologism, indicate their formal setting and verbal architectures, as well as the architecture of the word on the page or in three-dimensional space, in which the Poesia Concreta plays a key role. ALT himself would refer to it as follows: "Poesia Concreta proposes a poetics that requires optics, acoustics, syntax, morphology, all of them appropriate to the structure of perception, which is not a linear system of successive transmissions such as, for example, the traditional verse. There is no doubt that the patterns of aesthetic communication based on the perception of the material have a concrete attitude in common, whether it is concrete poetry or programmed art or electronic music »
Among the contemporary culture magazines he founded or co-founded we can remember «Antipiugiù» (1959) , an experimental literature magazine, which he directed until 1966. «Modulo», founded in 1966 with the first issue edited by himself, as an international anthology of concrete poetry. In the same year he curated the Visual Poetry exhibition at the Faculty of Architecture – university of Turin. In 1967 ,with Adriano Spatola and Franco Verdi, he curated the "International Exhibition of Experimental Poetry" at the Università Popolare di Castelfranco Veneto. In 1969 he was curator of the Concrete Poetry exhibition at Ca 'Giustinian, as part of the Venice Biennale
In 1980 he curated the TV series "Il colpo di Glottide" , 13 episodes on sound poetry for RAI 2-TV Channel
He took part in Documenta 8 - Kassel in 1987
In 1996, on behalf of the Piedmont Region, the critic Mirella Bandini curated a retrospective of Lora Totino's work at the "Circolo degli Artisti" in Turin.
In 2016 he was dedicated a broad anthology at the Galleria "Barriera" of Turin with works from 1962 to 1982, curated by Giorgio Maffei and Patrizio Peterlini.
In December 2016, Turin's GAM (Galleria d'Arte Moderna) dedicated him a night event
Galleria Six Piazzale Piola 5 Milan - from 17 April to 7 June 2018
opening 17 April at 6:00 p.m.
A catalog of the exhibition with text by Angela Madesani will be available