paris

Alfredo Jaar, Le ceneri di Pasolini (The Ashes of Pasolini), 2009, still from a color video, 36 minutes. Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Alfredo Jaar

Contexts

Alfredo Jaar, Le ceneri di Pasolini (The Ashes of Pasolini), 2009, still from a color video, 36 minutes. Pier Paolo Pasolini.

What would Pier Paolo Pasolini say today about the Italy he denounced so passionately all his life and that now, after so many years under the thumb of Silvio Berlusconi, leaves even less space for any alternative to what he called the “stereotyped and false” construct of an “official Italy”? “That acculturation and homologation that fascism didn’t manage at all to bring about,” Pasolini said, “is now perfectly achieved by . . . the power of the consumer society . . . emptying out the diverse ways of being human.” Alfredo Jaar’s Le ceneri di Pasolini (The Ashes of Pasolini), 2009—its title plays on that of Pasolini’s most famous poem, “Le ceneri di Gramsci” (The Ashes of Gramsci, 1954), and of the 1957 book in which it was collected—is a partial portrait of this exceptional figure. Pieced together mainly from existing footage, including Pasolini’s own films such as Il

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