The Artist as Archaeologist. An excavation in 21st century Italian art re-explores the cartography of contemporary art through the metaphor of archaeology, reconstructing its theoretical models – between Freud and Foucault – with philological analysis and, at the same time, with ample critical scope. Guided by these two methodological figures, their differences and impact on art and criticism, Massimo Maiorino’s book departs from the art of present to offer a glimpse into the proposals of the exhibition system and the archaeological practices that feed the research of a constellation of Italian artists in this first part of the third millennium: Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Francesco Arena, Rossella Biscotti, Fabrizio Cotognini, Roberto Cuoghi, Lara Favaretto and Marzia Migliora. Following the vital intersection between the practice of art, museums and criticism, the analysis – conducted as a process of excavation – uncovers, through the theoretical perspective offered by the archaeological method, the complexities and stratifications, discontinuities and intermittences, which mark the processes of the current art system’s epistemological direction.
«Critical Grounds», the Arshake’s publishing project directed by Antonello Tolve and Stefania Zuliani, is born from the desire to network precious and of great cultural interest books in open source electronic format. It is, in fact, a shelf which, together with the re-release of untraceable or forgotten essays, spreads rumors of the international critical scene to offer a wide-ranging look at the culturological contemporary landscape. Alongside this program “Critical Grounds” also proposes artist books, new authors and new voices of fiction to share with its authors and its readers a wide choice of assumptions, guidelines, designs on the creative area of the near future.