From Counter-culture to the Capitalocene: Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point at 50

Farnham, Surrey, UK, 14. February 2020.

Symposium UCA Farnham 14.02.20

Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point was a critical and commercial failure on its release in 1970. Antonioni was accused of not understanding America; the film was seen as a superficial aesthetic engagement with landscape and the emerging counter-culture.

Fifty years on, the ways in which the film was attuned to the impact of capital on the Californian landscape – offering an early and trenchant visualisation of the Capitalocene – is coming into view. Antonioni’s receptiveness to the work of artists of the late 1960s is evident in Zabriskie Point. Their critique of the ecological impact of consumerism and the military industrial complex is sedimented in the work and be now can read through the lens of contemporary material approaches to culture.

On its half century anniversary, speakers will revisit Zabriskie Point and consider its significance and relevance to emergent debates about environmental, material and cultural politics and aesthetics.

Symposium Schedule –

Media Building RG21 February 14th 2020

11:00 - 11:40 Stephen Connolly (UCA) and Matilde Nardelli (UWL)

Welcome & Introduction Revisiting Zabriskie Point at 50.

11:45 John David Rhodes Antonionian Prophood, Exploded (University of Cambridge)

12:20 Teresa Kittler ‘One of these days trees will be as passé as horses’: Michelangelo Antonioni and the ecological imaginary of Italian Art (University of York)

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch break

14.00 Flavia Frigeri ‘Willing to die but not of boredom’: Destruction and Psychedelia in and around Zabriskie Point (UCL)

14:40 Screening – Salarium Sasha Litvintseva (2018)

Followed by - filmmaker in conversation with Lucy Reynolds (Westminster)

16:00 COFFEE

16:20 Tiago de Luca Responding to Zabriskie Point at 50. (University of Warwick)

16:35 Roundtable Discussion

17:35 END

Organised by Stephen Connolly (UCA) and Matilde Nardelli (UWL) assisted by Emma Reyes (UCA)

Symposium is free to attend; however please book here –

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