There are no beginnings in the brief life of Piero Manzoni (1933–1963); there is no period of development.1 From his first contact, about 1954, with avant-garde artistic circles in Milan, he exhibited an unconditional and fully conscious militancy, displaying the temperament of a protagonist who, knowing that he lives in a period of change, wants to intervene from within.

Crucial to this understanding was a recognition that the avant-garde is supported not only with works of art but with declarations of poetics, with polemics, with manifestos. Manzoni wrote his first manifesto, Per la scoperta di una zona di immagini (For the discovery of a zone of images), in 1956; he published his last, Alcune realizzazioni, Alcuni esperimenti, Alcuni progetti (Some realizations, some experiments, some projects), the year before his death, in 1962.

Manzoni’s first manifestos were published under the aegis

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