Michele Perfetti

by Salvatore Luperto

Michele Perfetti’s (Bitonto 1931 - Ferrara 2013) linguistic and aesthetic research within experimental poetry was born from his experiences with Gruppo 70 and were developed in the literary and artistic movements of the International Newvanguard of the second half of the 20th century. With Lamberto Pignotti , Eugenio Miccini, Lucia Marcucci and other visual poets, Perfetti watches, analyzes and interprets reality in its relationship with art, culture and society (the subject of much debating in the nineteen sixties) carrying out a profound critical and ideological inquiry into mass communication culture. He fathoms the attitude of the common person conditioned by the strong powers and by the media and, convinced that visual poetry “compels one to look at the world with different eyes”, he reaches the conclusion that man can be made responsible by the verbal-visual language. With the aim “to change the world”, at the Italsider of Taranto, a city where he lived until 1973, he carried out a series of events engaging supporters on the spot, who through an intense activity of exhibitions and publishing developed an intense movement of art and poetry.

In 1967 he organized his first personal show at the Italsider Cultural Centre, founded in 1963. He published his first book …000+1 poesie tecnologico/visive making use of a linguistic code that will be prevalent in all his verbo-visual production, the sticking together of writings and pictures taken from newspapers and publicity. In every page through the slogans of mass communication he expresses ironic and debunking meanings against economic and political powers. In 1968 at Massafra (TA) with Gianni Jacovelli he put on Comunicazioni Visive a collection of experimental poems by various up and coming authors, such as Emilio Isgrò, Ketty La Rocca, Lucia Marcucci, Eugenio Miccini, Luciano Ori, Lamberto Pignotti, Achille Bonito Oliva, Vitantonio Russo, Franco Vaccari and Michele Perfetti himself and OUT, Repertorio di poesia sperimentale, a collection of “linear” poems by the literary newvanguard and of experimental poems by verbo/visual authors. In 1969 he published his book Frammenti Quotidiani at the opening of his second one man exhibition at the cultural centre of the Taranto Iron Factory. In 1970 by Edizioni Geiger, he published his poster-poem Ponctua(C)Tion. At the same centre, in 1971 he presented the book, published for his third exhibition, Plastic city, the “first visual novel”. In 1973, for the opening of his third one man exhibition, he published Oggi Jet, a collection of texts “in which one may notice a more accurate graphic research aiming at conferring a high dynamism to the relationship between verbal and visual matters” (Lucio Giannone). In the same year he moved for good to Ferrara, where, together with his professional activity as teacher and headmaster of a Liceo, he continued for many years his poetry research, taking part in many exhibitions and events of experimental poetry in Italy and abroad, including the 36th Biennale of Venice; the Istituto di Tella, Buenos Aires; the Stedelijch Museum of Amsterdam; the Istituto Italiano in Tokyo; the XVI biennial exhibition of Sao Paulo, Brazil and the XI Quadriennale of Rome.

His works are present in the collections of contemporary art of important museums, including the MART of Rovereto, the Museion of Bolzano, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna of Roma, the Museo Pecci of Prato, the Museo Magi of Pieve of Cento, the Museo MACMa of Matino.

Perfetti played a fundamental part in the creation and diffusion of verbo-visual experimentation in Puglia. His activities in Taranto and Massafra created a great interest among people interested in culture in those towns, artists and poets who took up new artistic and poetic expressions. The artists Bruno Leo, Giovanni Corallo e Salvatore Fanciano became interested in the tenets of visual poetry and developed new ideas founding the Gruppo Gramma and the underground magazine “Gramma”, in the wake of the Florentine magazine “Tèchne” by Eugenio Miccini. A similar path was followed by Enzo Miglietta who, fascinated by verbo-visual poetry, abandoned linear writing to give himself passionately to microwriting conceived as “line writing” (scrittura-linea), which intertwining with other writings forms images composed in reticula, in networks in plain and regular geometric figures. At Novoli the Laboratorio di Poesia Visiva by Miglietta from 1980 to 1984 became a real centre of cultural activity, attended by verbo-visual authors of the whole of Italy, including Perfetti himself, Eugenio Miccini, Lamberto Pignotti, Adriano Spatola, Ugo Carrega, Vincenzo Accame, Vincenzo Ferrari, Giovanni Fontana, Stelio Maria Martini, Luciano Caruso.

Frammento, 1969, serigrafia

Punti di vista, 1969, collage

Perfetti, 1970, collage

Altre scritture altra lettura, 1980, pennarelli

BANG, s.d., collage su carta

Oggi può essere, 2007, collage