Note: This entry was approved by Artissima for publication in its catalogue.
There is no arte povera.
It never existed;
As we’ve determined from the evidence,
Which is unreliable, contradictory.
If we were Italian and older,
We might have witnessed it,
With our eyes, our hands, our noses,
Maybe even our ears.
But we were born in America
In the 1960s, and so we have
To rely on documents, artifacts,
And eyewitness accounts.
And these are unreliable, contradictory.
We don’t believe them.
We don’t believe Celant.
His story has changed too many times:
The movement existed from 1967 to 1971;
The movement existed from 1967 to 1975;
It ended a long time ago; it continues today.
Arte povera is Celant’s creation, his myth,
And he will write it until his death.
He is a hero.
We don’t believe the other curators and historians.
They make revisions, corrections,
They contaminate the scene,
They alter the evidence,
They include Piero Gilardi and Marissa Merz,
They remove Gianni Piancetino.
Their arguments can be argued.
Arte povera is the shroud of Italy.
It cannot be proved.
It did not exist.