TAROTS OF HISTORY

Amanda Robusti

Abstract

Tarots of History explores the mediation of the fascist heritage into the contemporary Italian moment, thus contrasting the monolithic reading of history envisioned by the 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 an instrument of divination. In this work, they are a symbol of defiance towards the technocratic ideology behind Fascism. These cards initiate different historical discourses of dictatorship and mediation; furthermore, they disrupt a linear understanding of history, becoming independent chapters challenging the conventional understanding of the past. The visual language of the major arcana is an active agency of the contrasting relationship of Fascism in opposition to folklore, and here they are transformed into a political instrument of critique.

Amanda Robusti obtained her BA in History of Art from Goldsmith University of London in 2020. At the present moment, she is following an MA in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University.

Sing, O Angel of History of the chaotic and thunderous images

that re-arrange themselves and as whispers entangle with each other in an endless effort to create an image of history.

Icons and the imaginary drip their symbolism in power,

an agency of propaganda and source for the ultimate aim: the creation of a mythology. Fascism transformed the social and political landscape of Italy in the aftermath of Benito Mussolini’s death,

but the Angelus Novus is gazing through the past catastrophes, silently screaming for their revival.

The winged spirit will never be able to reach our ears as a wind from Paradise,

 known as Progress, will forbid these efforts.

Fascism never truly disappeared, it shaped and informed the Italian individual and collective consciousness; the heritage flows in its aftermath, grasping the contemporary moment.

O kind reader, do not be afraid and choose your card.

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