Carla Lonzi: Vai Pure (Now You Can Go)
Sat 6 Oct, 2 – 6pm
*Meeting in a private home in Bethnal Green
Free & all open to all
led by Helena Reckitt
For the October meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group we will attempt to translate sections of the poet, feminist and former leading art critic Carla Lonzi’s 1980 book Vai Pure: Dialogo con Pietro Consagra. We will then read out loud together from our rough translations of this important publication which has yet to be formally translated into English.
Vai Pure records a four-day conversation between Lonzi and her long-term lover, prominent avant-garde sculptor Pietro Consagra, exploring how love, creativity, work and career play out in their relationship. While Consagra depends on Lonzi’s affective labour and consoling company, she complains that he prioritises the time that he spends working in the studio and promoting his career, putting “art,” networking, and productivity above “life.” Lonzi concludes that she must choose love for her autonomy over that offered within romantic partnership, terminating their relationship and ending the book with words that give the book its title: “vai pure” [now you can go].
This withdrawal from heterosexual union is one of several renunciations carried out by Lonzi. In 1970 she resigned her position from what had come to consider the “inauthentic profession” of art criticism. In 1975, having spent the previous five years engaged deeply with the Rome collective Rivolta Femminile [Female Revolt] — itself a form of separatist withdrawal — Lonzi renounced feminist leadership. Even while active in Rivolta Femminile, Lonzi distanced herself from artists in the group, resisting the assumption that she would promote their careers. Instead of fighting for greater recognition for women artists, Lonzi renounced the art world system and its means of attributing value altogether.
Working in small groups we translate sections of Carla Lonzi’s Vai Pure: Dialogo con Pietro Consagra.
See Lea Melandri, Autonomy and the Need for Love: Carla Lonzi, Via pure 2000 (English translation 2010).
It is not necessary that everyone who attends can read Italian, although Italian-speakers will be very welcome (and indeed necessary!).
The meeting taked place in a private home in Bethnal Green. It included cooking and eating vegan food, as well as reading and talking, together.