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Giro d'Italia


A journey in a territory where man-made and iconic artifacts are.

"Giro d’Italia" is a project developed by UFO in 1972, in the form of a film and in continuity with two previous works: the live performance, titled "Giro d’Italia. Lettura futurista" at the Space Electronic disco club in Florence in 1971 and the publication on "In" magazine in July-August 1972, titled "Progetto d'urbanistica/d'Architettura". After the production of the film, the group continued its research on similar topics. In 1974 they produced a new performance, this time titled "Giro d’Italia. Evasione alla rovescia sul territorio", that was staged at Villa Borghese in Rome on the occasion of the "Contemporanea" exhibition curated by Achille Bonito Oliva. Hence the video is conceived in continuation with a series of projects which are similar in terms of contents but expressed through various forms, as happenings or exhibitions of photographic surveys.

In the 30-minute final video, the viewer witnesses a whole range of situations which almost seem to have no relationship one with the other. In the first part, a pursuit race between two cyclists ends in an area close to an ANAS storage, one of those state buildings, disseminated along the Italian road network, for its maintenance. These buildings had very similar constructive and typological aspects, and all were painted reddish purple. In 1960s Italy, the ANAS buildings were a recurring element in the landscape, but also represented the trace of a sort of "bureaucracy architecture" that UFO investigated through a photographic survey between 1969 and 1973.

Other scenes occur after this early pursuit race. Cars and motorcycles move along roads in the Tuscan hills, still punctuated by the presence of ANAS buildings and high voltage pylons. In this sequence of different scenes, a common theme emerges: a landscape that is scattered with man-made, iconic artifacts.

This edition of the film still preserves the traces and noises of various conversions from the original 1/2″ tape to a VHS copy to, in the end, the digital format.


Architect: UFO
Production: art/tapes 22
Camera: Andrea Giorgi

Italy 1972
Duration: 30'50''