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The Italian erotic imagery from the Seventies until today

The Sexx & Pop exhibition explores the history of sexual liberation in our country from the 70s to this day

The Italian erotic imagery from the Seventies until today The Sexx & Pop exhibition explores the history of sexual liberation in our country from the 70s to this day

It opens today in Milan, at Fabbrica del VaporeSexxx & Pop, the exhibition that explores the milestones that have marked Italy's erotic imagination from the 1970s until the rise of the web.

Over 200 objects, from the historic sign of the first Milanese sex shop, opened in 1971 to prints of the porn magazine Le Ore, from the cover of the 1975 Espresso featuring a pregnant girl hanging on a cross to the images of the Arcigay demonstrations, testify how the relationship with sex has changed in our country. 

Eight boxes (Porno di Carta; Sexual identity, gender identity; Tremate tremate le streghe sono tornate; Eros al male: auteur cinema and sexy Italian comedy; Orgasmo songs; Porci con le ali; Luci rosse, Graphic hard; Pop porno) takes visitors through the 70s revolution, the sexy comedies starring Edwige Fenech and Gloria Guida, the illustrations by Milo Manara and Andrea Pazienza, the AAA ads forbidden to minors, the Gay Pride rallies and the films by Moana Pozzi. A selection of young artists between the ages of 25 and 40 has created specific works for the exhibition, describing the contemporary relationship between sex and love. Scandalous, porn, feminists, romantics, each of these pieces gives back fragments of a deep dialogue between past and present that reveals almost half a century of radical changes that have shocked the common sense of decency and changed the lifestyles of Italians. 

nss magazine has selected 5 works included in Sexxx & Pop to explore the history of sexual liberation in our country from the 70s to the present day.


I Travestiti - Lisetta Carmi

On 1965 New Year's Eve Lisetta Carmi accepted an invitation to a party in the Jewish ghetto of Genoa and there she discovered the community of drag queens in Via del Campo. With her camera, like an anthropologist, she started to photograph their lives on the margins of society. Her gaze is delicate, judgment-free, honest. In each portrait, she tells the reality of those who do not feel free to live their gender identity, but the topic for the time was too difficult. When I Travestiti was published by Essedì in 1972 it caused a huge buzz. No bookstore had the courage to sell it. It was considered an offensive, shocking book. Despite some famous artists like Alberto Moravia and Dacia Maraini supporting Carmi's work, it was Barbara Alberti who bought all the existing copies and made them available over the years to save those photos from eternal oblivion. Nowadays I Travestiti is a piece of the history of Italian photography and Lisetta Carmi's work is compared to that of masters such as Christer Strömholm and Nan Goldin


Valentina - Guido Crepax

Valentina appeared for the first time in the monthly magazine Linus in 1965 in the role of Philip Rembrandt's girlfriend, an art critic and amateur investigator gifted with particular psychic powers. The sensual photographer, with her black bob haircut inspired by the silent movie actress Louise Brooks, soon emerged as the leading character in the story and, at the same time, as an icon of independence and sexual freedom. 


Porci con le Ali - Marco Lombardo Radice e Lidia Ravera

The novel depicts the seventies and two left-wing young students, Rocco and Antonia, learning about life, rebellion, sex and love. The style is the direct language of two teenagers who speak freely and openly about genitals, sexual performance and masturbation. The original mix of protest and teen eroticism published in 1976 in only 6000 copies with a cover by Pablo Echaurren had an explosive effect on the Italian publishing scene. Shortly after it was published, it was confiscated on accusations of obscenity by the prosecutor Giovanni De Matteo, but its popularity was such great that in the same year it reached the top of the best-selling books list.


Ossì - Alice Scornajenghi

This is the self-produced pop erotic fanzine created by Alice Scornajenghi and produced in collaboration with art director Francesca Pignataro. In each limited edition issue, soft porn photos alternate with vintage images taken from the hot magazines of the 70s. Among its neon pages, along with a playlist, there are also a dirty story and sexy photos.


Making of Love- Lucio Basadonne e Anna Pollio 

The project was based on an idea by Paolo Mottana, a professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of Milan: a documentary on sex education for high school students. 4 boys and 4 girls aged 18 to 24 talk about sexuality and sex, the discovery of intimacy, gender identity, the right to enjoy sex and much more. Making of Love was made thanks to a crowdfunding campaign launched by MySecretCase, by Genoese directors Lucio Basadonne and Anna Pollio and screenwriter Michele Vaccari

The exhibition Sexxx & Pop will be open to the public at the Fabbrica del Vapore from February 14 to May 25, 2020, and is not open to children under 16 years old. The ticket costs €10 and you can buy it here.