INCOMMON. In praise of community. Shared creativity in arts and politics in Italy (1959-1979) is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant 2015) and hosted by IUAV, University of Venice.

INCOMMON is meant to be the first study to systematically analyse the field of performing arts as resulting from the practice of commonality both theorized and experienced over the 1960s and the 1970s. In particular, the project is aimed to study the history of the ‘laboratory Italy’ as the place where artistic counterculture expressed by performing arts arose in a milieu characterized by a profound relation between philosophy, politics, and revolutionary practices.

The overall objectives of INCOMMON are i) to study, collect and contextualize those encounters between theatre, music, visual arts, cinema and video art that assumed the form of performances, especially those created as collaborations between artists; ii) to apply the concept of ‘will-to-the-common’ to the art field of the counterculture; iii) to underline the significance of artistic communities in the local and international scene; iv) to create a digital archive of the performances of the Italian artists of the period.

The project will connect historical, philosophical and artistic debates to those in other sciences, sociology and in particular Social Network Theory, in order to reveal significant structures of meanings in the artistic community and to reveal the peculiar characteristics of shared creative processes. The methodology that will be developed is meant 1) to produce new ways of modelling the knowledge and interpretation of performing arts and 2) to create an innovative form of digital archive visualization, where rich interfaces will sustain and improve the understanding of the context and relationships analysed. 

INCOMMON will produce a comprehensive approach, oriented toward collection, digitization, restoration and dissemination of direct documentation and related materials of the Italian performing arts production of the great creative, political, existential wave of the counterculture, preserving and making accessible a patrimony that otherwise will continue to be lost to future generations.


map-marker address:

Santa Croce, 191,
30135 Venezia, Italy


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Research Team

Annalisa Sacchi

Principal Investigator

She is Associate Professor at IUAV University, where she teaches Aesthetics and Politics of Contemporary European theatre.

She received her PhD in Theatre Studies from University of Bologna, for a thesis that explored the historical and political conditions that produced the raising of Director’s theatre in Europe, and its legacy in today’s performance art. For her postdoctoral research, she focused on the topic of memory in contemporary theatre, and on the structures of theatrical archiving, developing the research with a Marco Polo grant that allowed her to work in London, in collaboration with Queen Mary University, and the Warburg Institute. In 2011/2012 she was Visiting scholar at New York University, Tisch Department of the Arts.

In 2012/2013 Annalisa was awarded the Lauro De Bosis Postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, that supports scholars who would ‘for many years to come, trace the influence and illuminate the gifts which Italian Culture has given to the world.’ At Harvard University, in 2013/2014 she obtained a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Drama Committee. Over the two years of her appointment at Harvard, she has taught classes of ‘Contemporary Theatre in Europe’ and has been awarded the ‘Certificate of teaching excellence’ from the Derek Bok Center of teaching and Learning. She was also awarded the Elson Family Arts Fund that allowed her to project and direct the prototype of a performing arts magazine run with her students. ‘HPA, Harvard Performing Arts’.

From 2004 to 2012 she was editor-in-chief of the Performing arts independent magazine Art’O_cultura e politica delle arti sceniche.
Together with M. Pustianaz e G. Palladini she organized the conference/event Affective Archives, the winning project of the international call, ‘Regional research cluster’, sponsored by Performance Studies international (PSi), and the first PSi event ever organized in Italy.
Among her publications are the books Il posto del re. Estetiche della regia teatrale nel modernismo e nel contemporaneo, Roma, Bulzoni, 2012, Itinera, trajectoires de la forme Tragedia Edogonidia, with Enrico Pitozzi, Actes Sud, Arles, 2008; and Gli Shakespeare della Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, ETS, Pisa. She has been the translator (to Italian) of Philosophers and Thespians by Freddie Rokem (Mimesis, 2013).

Stefano Tomassini

Assistant professor at IUAV – University of Venice

Stefano Tomassini teaches at the University of Lugano in Switzerland (USI) and is Dance Adviser for LuganoInScena.

In 2008-2009 he was Fulbright-Schuman Research Scholar (NYC); in 2010 Scholar-in-Residence at the Archive of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Lee, Mass.) and, during the 2011’s fall semester, Associate Research Scholar at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University (NYC).

From 2013 to 2016 he has collaborated with the programs of the Dance Department of La Biennale di Venezia. In 2016 he has been Scholar-in-Residence at Scenario Pubblico – Centro Nazionale di Produzione della Danza in Catania (I), on a project about dance reconstruction.

He participates to the international project Commedia dell’Arte in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He wrote on Salvatore Viganò (Marino Moretti Prize); on musical and dance libretti on the myth of Adonis (Pacini Fazzi); on Enzo Cosimi (Zona), and he edited the dance writings of Aurel M. Milloss (Olschki) and, with Alessio Fabbro, the lessons of the pioneer of the American modern dance Ted Shawn (Gremese). He edited for Treccani (Enciclopedia italiana) a collection of works of Carlo Goldoni and, also for Treccani, an essay on the theatrical and musical response of the poem of Ludovico Ariosto. More recently he wrote a catalogue about the Hofesh Shechter Projet to the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia (Silvana), and he edited a pamphlet on the work of the young Swiss choreographer Lorena Dozio (Casagrande). He is currently writing a book on the choreography-response to the music of J. S. Bach in the Atlantic and Continental theatrical dance during the XXth century.

Enrico Pitozzi

Assistant professor at IUAV – University of Venice

Enrico Pitozzi has taught at University of Bologna, Padua, Montréal, Valencia, Paris, Bahia and Porto Alegre.

In 2016-2017 he has been visiting professor at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris. He currently collaborates with the scientific committee of the project «Performativité et effets de presence» directed by Josette Féral and Louise Poissant at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and the project «Poéticas Tecnològicas» directed by Ivani Santana at the Universidade Federal de Bahia (Brasile). He is a member of the observatory on the analysis of movement led by choreographer Isabelle Choiniere (Montreal, Plymouth, Paris) and the multimedia laboratory « MeLa research » at IUAV University of Venice. In 2005 he took part in the workshop within the 37th International Theatre Festival of Venice Biennale directed by Romeo Castellucci and in 2013-2014 at the «Biennale Danza College» directed by Virgilio Sieni.

Among his essays: with A. Sacchi, Itinera. Trajectoires de la forme Tragedia Endogonidia, Arles, Actes Sud, 2008; On presence, in « Culture Teatrali », n. 21, 2012; Topologies des corps, in J.P. Massuet, M. Grosoli (dir.), La capture de mouvement, ou le modelage de l’invisible, Rennes, Presses de l’Université de Rennes, 2014. The choreographic composition of Cindy Van Acker, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2015. Bodysoundscape. Perception, movement and audiovisual developments in contemporary dance, in Yael Kaduri The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Western Art, Oxford University Press, 2016 and Akousma. The figure and the voice in a theatre by Ermanna Montanari, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2017.

Aleksandra Jovićević

Full professor at Sapienza - University of Rome

Aleksandra Jovićević is a Full Professor at the Department of History of Arts and Performance (Dipartimento di storia dell’arte e spettacolo) at La Sapienza University in Rome, Italy;

Coordinator of Doctoral Studies at the same department, and a visiting professor at the School of Drama, University of Arts in Belgrade.

She gained her BA at the Department of Dramaturgy at the same university, and her MA and PhD at the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University in New York. She worked as a professor at the School of Drama, University of Arts in Belgrade, between 1993 and 2008, and was a Fulbright scholar at the Yale University, USA, in 2006/07.

Aleksandra Jovićević has translated, edited and published a number of scholarly works and books nationally and internationally, and among others, has written, in collaboration with Ana Vujanović, Introduction to Performance Studies (Uvod u studije performansa, Fabrika knjiga, 2007) that has been translated into Slovakian (Theatre Institute in Bratislava, 2013) and Italian (Bulzoni editor, in preparation). She has just completed editing a book of latest essays by Richard Schechner in Italian, The New Third World of Performance Studies (Il nuovo terzo mondo di performance studies, Bulzoni, 2017).

Aleksandra Jovićević is the founder and a member of the Forum of Writers (Forum pisaca), an independent association of Serbian Writers in 1999. Between 1999-2001, she was a columnist for the German daily newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung. During her time at the School of Drama in Belgrade, she was the director of the Institute for Theatre, Cinema, Radio and Television of School of Drama (Institut za pozorište, film, radio i televiziju FDU), and a managing editor of Annual of School of Drama (Zbornik FDU), as well as a member of editorial committee of Serbian theatre journal, Teatron, for which she has edited several special issues. She is on the editorial board of the the leading Italian scholarly theatre journal Biblioteca Teatrale and the editor of a book series, Aesthetics and Politics of Performance for the Bulzoni editor in Rome.

Aleksandra Jovićević was an Assistant Minister of Culture in the government of Zoran Đinđić and Zoran Živković (2001-2004), and for her promotion of the cultural collaboration with Italy, she has gained a medal from the President of the Italian Republic, Ordine della stella della solidarietà italiana, with the title “Commendatore” in 2005.

Valentina Valentini

Associate professor at Sapienza - University of Rome

Professor Valentina Valentini, is an expert on theoretical and historical issues in Performing Arts, and a tenured professor of performance studies and new media at the Performing Arts Department of the University “La Sapienza”, Rome.

She has been the director of Centro Teatro Ateneo, Research Center on Performing Arts, Sapienza University of Rome from 2011 until 2015. She’s a member of the College of Doctorate in Music and Performance, at the same University.
She has published numerous theoretical and historical studies on 20th century theatre and performance. Among them New Theater in Italy, 1963-2013, a research project on the Italian theatre of the years between the Sixties of last century and 2013 which produced a publication in Italian (Bulzoni, Roma) and in English by Routledge, as well as the web site: https://nuovoteatromadeinitaly.sciami.com

She is the editor of Drammaturgie sonore. Teatri del secondo Novecento (Roma, 2012) gruppoacusma.sciami.com. She wrote the monograph Worlds, Bodies, Matters; Theatres of XX century, published by Performance Book 2009, a redefinition of the status of contemporary theatre; as well as Dopo il teatro moderno (1989); La teoria della performance (1985), Il dibattito sul teatro negli USA: Schechner e TDR (1974). She has published a broad study on the interference between theatre and video in two anthologies on video practice and theory, Le pratiche del video (2003), a collection of interviews of various artist, and Le Storie del video (2003). She has also edited a collection of essays on theatre and the new media: Teatro in immagine (1987), Eventi performativi e nuovi media & audiovisivi per il teatro II.

The fruits of her lengthy study conducted through unpublished material of Gabriele D’Annunzio are two volumes dedicated to the reconstruction of the first performance of his tragedies, Il poema visibile (1993) and on the theatrical aesthetic of D’Annunzio, La tragedia moderna e mediterranea (1992) and Un fanciullo delicato e forte. D’Annunzio e il cinema (1995).
Professor Valentini has been the editor of a book series dedicated to contemporary performance and drama, entitled Teatro contemporaneo d’autore (Franco Scaldati, Squat Theater, Teatro della Fortezza, Peter). She has been also an artistic director of the international video art festival Rassegna Internazionale del Video d’Autore of Taormina Arte from 1986 to 1995 where she presented the work of some of the most prominent international artists (Vito Acconci, Bill Viola, Antoni Muntadas, Marcel Odenbach, Marina Abramovic, Shigeko Kubota, Vof Vostell).

She has also curated a number of exhibitions and screenings dedicated to video art: Tempo Incerto, Avellino 2003, Zero Visibility, Genazzano, Castello Colonna 2003 (a project for the European Union, Culture 2000); Le tribù dell’arte, Galleria Comunale d’arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Roma, Dirottamenti, Milano etc.

Her essays have been published by many scholarly journals, both national and international, like, The Drama Review (New York), Theaterschrift, Close Up (Roma), Biblioteca Teatrale, Ariel, Drammaturgia, Performance Arts Journal (New York), Maska (Ljubliana) Frakcija (Zagrab), and by the literary supplement of L’avanguardia (Barcellona). She is on the Editorial Board of Performance Research Journal published by Routledge.

Maria Grazia Berlangieri

Research assistant at Sapienza - University of Rome

She is Research Fellow and Teaching fellow at the Sapienza University of Rome.

Her current research focuses are the narrative visualization of collected data in Performing Arts and the analysis through motion capture technologies of the actor-dancer movements. She is consultant for research and training at several companies and foundations working in the field of technologies and cultural heritage. Since 2005 she oversees the archive of Centro Teatro Ateneo. She participated as researcher in the european project Eclap, European Collected Library of Artistic Performance (2010-2012). She teaches Digital Image Processing at the Sapienza University – Rome, and Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED)-Rome. Among others, she has published Il teatro dell’Università di Roma, 1935-1958. Crocevia di teoresi e pratiche teatrali, Bulzoni, 2016; Alberto Moravia. Un frammento audio inedito dalla Conferenza sul teatro e su Beatrice Cenci, promossa dall’Istituto del Teatro dell’Università di Roma (1956), 2018; Motion Capture e Commedia dell’Arte, un case study, UniversItalia, 2016; Performing Arts, gli archivi digitali e la narrazione interattiva in «Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts», 2017.

Stefano Brilli

Post-doctoral researcher

He is Postdoctoral Fellow at IUAV University. He received his PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Urbino in 2016, for a thesis that investigated the relationship between celebrity and ridicule in digital culture.

His research interests revolve around the study of digital media, social networks and performative practices.

He collaborated with the Department of Communication Sciences, Humanities and International Studies (DISCUI) of the University of Urbino in research projects on communities on social media, contemporary theatre audiences, audience development and festival audiences. He also worked as teacher assistant in the same department in the courses of Social Media Analysis (Prof. Fabio Giglietto), Forms and Languages of Drama and Spectacles and Theories and Practices of Imagery (Prof. Laura Gemini).

He teaches Media and Politics at Link Campus University (Campus Universitario San Pellegrino) and Visual Culture and Identity at the Advanced Course in Organization, Intercultural Communication and  Citizenship, designed by the University of Urbino Carlo Bo in collaboration with the Villanova University (Pennsylvania, U.S.A.).

Marco Baravalle

Post-doctoral researcher

Marco Baravalle ia a member of S.a.L.E. Docks, a collective managing an independent space for visual arts, activism, and experimental theater located in what had been an abandoned salt-storage facility in Dorsoduro, Venice.

Founded in 2007, its programming includes activist- group meetings, formal exhibitions, workshops and screenings.

In addition to curating the diverse programming at S.a.L.E. Docks, Baravalle also researches the relationship between art and activism, creative labor and how art is positioned within neoliberal economics.

Piersandra Di Matteo

Post-doctoral researcher

Performing arts theorist, dramaturge, and curator. She is currently research fellow in the frame of ERC funded project «INCOMMON. In praise of community. Shared creativity in arts and politics in Italy (1959-1979)» at IUAV – University of Venice.

Her theoretical interests range from experimental theatre to post-dramatic theatre, from politics and ethics of the voice to practices in curating. For the results of her academic research in the contemporary performing arts, she has been invited to hold conferences and seminars in international research centres and Universities (Hong Kong, Roma, Shanghai, London, Singapore, Montréal, Amsterdam, New York City, Philadelphia, San Paolo, Belo Horizonte), and called as visiting scholar at MESTC/CUNY The City University of New York (Fall 2017). Her essays have been published in international magazines, art catalogues, collections of essays and multimedia projects.

For more than ten years she has been Romeo Castellucci’s closest theoretical collaborator and dramaturge, working with him in Europe’s foremost theatres, museum and international festivals, among which the Festival d’Avignon, Ruhrtriennale, Théàtre La Monnaie Bruxelles, Schaubühne Berlin, Wiener Festwochen, Opéra de Paris, Staatsoper Hamburg, Opéra de Lyon, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Dutch National Opera, Salzburger Festspiele, Bozar Bruxelles. She currently has been collaborating as dramaturg with the Argentine director Lola Arias and the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera.

She has also developed projects, collaborating with international theatre festivals, theatres and art galleries, and followed various artists and performers as a theoretical consultant. Among her numerous projects as a curator, the multi-format project E la volpe disse al corvo was awarded the UBU Prize for “Best curatorial-organisational project 2014”. She is currently the artistic curator of Atlas of Transitions Biennale (Bologna 2018-2020) for Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione.

Giada Cipollone

Post-doctoral researcher

She is a postdoctoral research fellow in the research project “INCOMMON. In praise of community. Shared creativity in arts and politics in Italy (1959-1979)” hosted by IUAV, University of Venice and directed by Annalisa Sacchi.

She received her PhD from the University of Pavia – where she graduated in 2015 – in 2019, with a thesis focused on the history of theatre and cinema photography in Italy from 1905 to 1943: she studies, in particular, the representation of Italian actress through the images of “Davide Turconi Archive”. During the PhD course, she worked as teacher assistant in the courses of “theatre history” (Fabrizio Fiaschini).

In 2018 she was “visiting scholar” at Westminster University of London (supervisor: prof. David Bate). She is involved in the activities of the research center “Self Media Lab. Writings, performance, technologies of the Self”, directed by Federica Villa and she is part of the organizing committee of the annual international summer school “The Safekeeping of Memory”.

Her main research interests concern: the relationship between theatre and photography; the history and the aesthetics of Italian theatre photography; the contemporary experiences of self-construction through new technologies. Her first book, titled Actor’s portraiture and “still” photography in Italy (1905-1943). The images of actress from the Turconi Archive, is being published by Scalpendi (Milan).

Simone Zantedeschi

Administrative Staff

Simone graduated in economics and business at University of Verona and works at Iuav University Research Office.

He deals with the financial and administrative management of the project in relation to the rules for the eligibility of expenses established both at national and European level. He is entrusted with financial reporting and keeping contacts with the European Commission’s official for matters concerning project’s financial management.


Monica Nannini

Visual Designer

Owner at SPA! visual design, a Bologna-based graphic design studio founded in 1998

SPA! visual design identifies communication solutions and coordinates editorial material, designs visual identities and relative applicative systems for companies, cultural and social organizations, institutions. She is following since 1998 most of the communication strategies, mainly on visual and brand identity, of Dental Trey, a leading company in the dentistry market, now part of the Henry Schein Group. Among her works as art director, “Gastronomic Sciences”, magazine of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo (2006/2008 – together with Simona Tonna); the independent journal “Art’o_cultura e politica delle arti sceniche” (2002/2013). National secretary of the board of arbitrators of Aiap – Italian visual communication’s design association from 2012. Since 2015 member of the Aiap’s national board. She has published articles on graphic design, comics, and animation in magazines, newspapers and web-magazines. With Francesco Galli she co-authored Web Design in Italy 0.1 (Happy Books, Modena 2004). She has given training courses in cultural events management to putting in relationship the needs of cultural production with those of visual designers. In 2013 she realized “From concept to action: create a performing art magazine”, workshop within the Course of “Contemporary Theatre in Europe”, Harvard Committee on Dramatic Arts. In 2015 she designed and curated, together with Cinzia Ferrara and Carla Palladino, the exhibition “Millennials. The new scene of Italian graphic design”, within Aiap DX International Graphic Design Week. spavisualdesign.it

Max Ryan

Visual Designer

Max Ryan is a multidisciplinary designer and occasional developer/writer based in London.

After graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University he worked for two and a half years in advertising at Hey!Human before deciding to attend the Royal College of Art on their Visual Communication programme. While there he set-up Studio P2P with James Sanderson which has been producing work for clients in the cultural sector with emphases on typography, digital experimentation and attention to detail.

In his personal work he focuses on issues of theory surrounding graphic design, typography and digital networks and can be found at maxryan.co.uk

Pietro Garrone

Visual Designer

Pietro is an independent art director and visual artist based in London.

Graduate of Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, his work is focused on visual identities and radical narratives for brands and institutions, mostly involving art and music. While in the Royal College of Art Visual Communication programme Pietro produced his dissertation titled Declaration of State of Permanent Happiness – a comprehensive publication on the visual culture of Italy in 1977. He is part of SPA! visual design as graphic designer, and of Husky Loops as drummer and art director. pietrogarrone.com