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L'OFFENSIVA DI CARTA (The Paper Offensive)

The Great War: an illustrated journey through time, from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics

Castello di Udine, March 31, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Exhibition sponsored by Udine City Council- Civic Museums department- with the support of Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (The Presidency of the Council of Ministers) - Struttura di missione per gli Anniversari di interesse nazionale (Special Unit for Anniversaries of National Interest), the Regional Administration of Friuli Venezia Giulia, and with the cooperation of Fondazione Friuli.

Curated by Giovanna Durì, Luca Giuliani and Anna Villari,
with the collaboration of Sara Codutti and Fernando Orlandi

Throughout the blood soaked, muddy war of 1914 -1918, a parallel war was being waged, a war of words and powerful images. This exhibition documents that war, drawing on the unique heritage of the Luxardo Collection, which owes its name to the doctor from San Daniele del Friuli who, in the immediate aftermath of the war, gathered over 5600 files of magazines and monographs from the period.

The Collection, which belongs to the city’s Civic Museums, is highly representative of the body of materials produced during the war, not only in Italy but on all fronts involved in the conflict, and in all languages. On the Italian front, as elsewhere, these seemingly spontaneous instruments were being manipulated behind the scenes by the powerful “Servizio Propaganda” (Propaganda Office) and one of the key examples of this massive propaganda effort were the trench journals produced by those experiencing the conflict at first hand. By the end of the conflict, more than 62 million copies had been printed in Italy alone. Using every means at its disposal, this veritable ‘paper offensive’ fired round upon round of rallying proclamations, relentlessly repeated messages, incitements, imperious demands and cunningly worded ploys – anything that could restore confidence, resolve, and faith in victory.

Amidst the storytelling and crafted imagery, a new medium was breaking onto the scene: cinema, as the examples of American animation on show at the exhibition document.

The idea of juxtaposing this historical analysis with a section dedicated to the memory of the Great War seen through the eyes of some of its contemporary illustrators - Joe Sacco, Gipi, Manuele Fior, Jacques Tardi and Hugo Pratt – is an original one and offers an engaging addition to the exhibition.



Messaggero Veneto

Udinese TV