Applausi [Applause] (1968)
Part of:
  • Gianni Pettena (archive creator)
  • Gianni Pettena (artist)

Applausi [Applause] (1968)


circa 1968-2015

Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 13 digital files (458 MB)
    7 photographic materials
    2 drawings
Scope and content:
This project series documents Pettena's design for "Applausi", a suitcase split in half to create two flashing signs with the word "Applausi". The signs were designed for the music performance by Vittorio Gelmetti, "La descrittione del gran paese" a post-pop opera for which Pettena was also in charge of the scene direction. The performance was presented at the 6th Festival of Avant-Garde Music at the Teatro Biondo, in Palermo, in December 1968. The signs were placed on each side of the stage, toward the audience. "The text, together with others that indicated the piano, the singer and the cello, reminded the audience of the habits of an illiterate public participating in a televised show." [1] The "Applausi" signs were also presented in the exhibition "The living currency" in Varsaw, at the Teatr Dramatyczny in 2010, and at the 6th Berlin Biennale at the Hau1, Die lebende Münze, in 2010.

The project series contains photographs of the 'Applausi' signs, a drawing of the sign, and a draft poster showing the display of the stage for Vittorio Gelmetti performance at the 6th Festival of Avant-Garde Music. The project series also includes photographs of the music performance, a video of Pettena and the sign at the Berlin Biennale in 2010, and project descriptions in English and Italian.

[1] Marco Scotini, editor. Non-conscious architecture: Gianni Pettena, Sternberg Press, 2018, 235 pages. p. 102.
Reference number:



Palermo Italy

Language of material:
  • English
  • Italian

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