Bodily Regimes: Italian Advertising under Facism

Bodily Regimes: Italian Advertising under Facism

Karen Pinkus

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0816625638

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Book by Pinkus, Karen

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Blackness Before the 1930s, color simply was not a significant cultural category for the Italian public. As the critic Richard Dyer has eloquently remarked, 2. "I am coffee." Gino Boccasile's coffee bean-head. (Salce Collection, 3096.) Selling the Black Body / 27 within the general realm of representation, white does not mean anything in particular. White is "normal," whereas black is always marked as "colored."6 The marking of blackness, then, may well be viewed as a secondary pleasure

advertising images — in particular, images of the body—are not somehow symbols of an aberrant, monstrous oppression, but form a ground for the present Italian state and its economy. (Italy has the fifth largest economy in the world at the time of this writing, in terms of per capita income and gross national product.) Having stated what I perceive as the larger implication of this study for late capitalism in Italy, I have not chosen to follow the trajectory of iconographic elements from their

enter: the space is cold and forbidding, and resounds with an eerie emptiness. But even before the postconquest period captured in the purity of Rava's "African" house, the black body becomes banalized like wallpaper; and Italy already had witnessed the translation of an atrocious war into highbourgeois style in Boccasile's 1936 advertisement for Ramazzotti bitter aperitif (figure 20). A white woman in the foreground in a stylized version of colonialist khaki and safari helmet stares off into the

international crisis. Thus, producing and consuming bodies represent themselves as specific to an Italian national context even though the graphic design styles may derive from an international, modernist one. The viewer should remain skeptical of the exclusive nationalist paranoia implied in the Italian autarchy campaigns. If Italian bodies are subject to oppression, one must guard against the temptation 84 / The Fascist Body as Producer and Consumer to regard this oppression as a global

it might be that of a body emerging from a private space (a house-cum-factory), as in this ad for a 1926 exhibit (figure 32). The image is striking because of the reduction of a complex economic category to a simple ideogram: the enclosed space and the body with no mediating institutions, no Dopolavoro or policed physical-education activities, no machines or tools. The artisanal emblem seems to represent, then, an antithesis to the regulation of the body I located in the worker who effaces

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