Tarots of HistoryRe-visitation and Demystification
For my final project, I will explore the mediation of the fascist heritage into the contemporary Italian moment; indeed, this project will contrast the monolithic reading of history envisioned by fascist ideology. The linear understanding of the past and its effects are re-visited and demystified through a path of tarot cards, which uncover the fascist heritage and its influence in the given moment. Tarot cards are part of the Italian folk tradition, both as card games and later as instrument of divination, and for this reason they are a symbol of defiance towards the technocratic ideology behind fascism. These cards will initiate different historical discourses of dictatorship and mediation, especially through their visual symbolism. furthermore, they will disrupt a linear understanding of history becoming independent chapter that challenge the conventional understanding of the past.
Resisting and mediating History
The visual language of the major arcana is an active agency of the contrasting relationship of fascism in opposition to folklore. The aim is to re-visit history and, at the same time, to demystifying it through a non-linear approach. For these reasons, I decided to choose five of the major arcana: The Tower – XVI, The Hanged Man – XII, Wheel of Fortune – X, The Empress – III and The Fool – 0.
THE HANGED MAN
The Tower is the emergence of what was imprisoned: the Colonial Past. There is a historical amnesia in which the colonial expeditions under the fascist dictatorship have been erased and in which these colonies have been reduced to their monetary value.
(Negotiating Amnesia (2015) dir. Alessandra ferrini. https://vimeo.com/145849615)
Resisting the mother and the seductress.
This card will aid a discourse of women’s role and femininity, that will be highlighted through the Silvio Berlusconi’s period into the political and entertaining world.
(Videocracy (2009) dir. Erik Gandini)
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
The wheel is turned by external elements in which the card illustrates the hand of god turning the wheel of ‘fortune’. This chapter will explore the influence of The USA and other Western powers in the political, social and culture environment of Italy after WWII. The Wheel of Fortune is the beginning or end of a cycle, similarly to history itself, however the hand that spin the wheel is not providence, but capital.
The Fool is the card without a number. “It is the sole Major Arcana card not to be defined numerically. He represents the original boundless energy, total freedom, madness, disorder, chaos, or even the fundamental creative urge.” The Fool is the future: ungraspable and feasible at the same time. as the present dictates the future.
Questions for the group:
Readings or cases of studies that could benefit this project.
Are there too many ‘cards’?
Any technical aspect that could improve the project.