Arte alla prova della modernità

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by jrb123, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. jrb123 New Member

    San Francisco
    English, USA
    Salve tutti. Cerco una traduzione per il titolo di una mostra d'arte:
    "Arte alla prova della modernità". Grazie!
     
  2. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italian
    My attempt:
    Art to the test of modernity.
     
  3. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    USA/English
    I've been struggling with this one, because "to the test of" doesn't convey much meaning in English :(

    Maybe "Art and the Challenge of Modernity" or "Art and the Test of Modernity?"
     
  4. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italian
    My problem with the word challenge was that it means sfida and here the art is not challenging the modernity but it has being tested by the modernity itself.
    (Does it make any sense ? Altrimenti lo spiego in italiano!!!);)
    Maybe the second one, but you are the native.:)
     
  5. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    USA/English
    Ti sei spiegata benissimo. :)

    I know "test" is a more faithful translation than "challenge" (but "challenge" has that arty-theoretical ring ;)), but in my formulation art would be challenged (sfidato, ma anche, forse, messo alla prova) by modernity, not the other way around.

    You could say (to remain most faithful to the original) "Art Put to the Test by Modernity", but that sounds horrible for an art show.

    I think there's an obvious solution that I'm too tired to see :(
     
  6. I think Elaine's "challenge" is the best translation, if I understand he Italian correctly, anyway. By "challenge of modernity" she means "challenge from modernity" -- this is one of those crazy English expressions that can be read two ways. Most speakers of AE at least, though, would recognize the meanins as modernity challenging art (and art, of course, responding).

    On the other hand, if the meaning is "art tested by modernity" you might say, "Art in the Crucible of Modernity" or "Art in the Ordeal of Modernity."
     
  7. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    I can't grasp what tests what. Is it Modernity challenges Art? or the other way around.
     
  8. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA/California--English
    Hmh, truly obscure title to which modern art strives.

    "Art That Tests Modernity" where modernity means that which holds itself to be very comtemporary, very now, very hip, tres au courant, very in the know.
     
  9. Willi

    Willi Senior Member

    Milano Italy
    Italy - Italian
    As a native I don't think it's an obscure title, it seems very clear to me, it means that art is put to the test by modernity, not the other way around :)
     
  10. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA/California--English
    Willi: "to me, it means that art is put to the test by modernity, not the other way around"

    art that has gone before the present exhibition has proven itself, but that which is being shown is the one under the microscope and subject to close inspection for its relevance to today's art sensiblities;)
     
  11. Willi

    Willi Senior Member

    Milano Italy
    Italy - Italian
    Ok, I should have written "is being put to the test". In Italian it has both meanings, as there is no verb to express time:)
    please correct my errors!
     
  12. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    USA/English
    No, Willi, non preoccuparti; il tuo inglese era perfetto. Non ci sono errori nella tua frase. Puoi dire anche "being put to the test"; tutte e due vanno bene.
     
  13. jrb123 New Member

    San Francisco
    English, USA
    Thank you all! -- Hm, 'art put to the test by modernity' is perhaps most accurate. I had translated it as 'art tested by modernity'. (The exhibit covers the years 1880-1910, by the way - so it is definitely modernity that is putting pressure on art, not vice versa.) But most of all I like 'Art challenged by modernity' - grazie, Elaine! A much more elegant solution - best for an art exhibition title.
     
  14. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA/California--English
     
  15. jrb123 New Member

    San Francisco
    English, USA
    Ah, is it possible that we're speaking one art historian to another? Yes, certainly fin de siecle art itself has been accepted into the art history canon. Here we're in complete agreement.

    But that doesn't change the fact that at the time - 1800-1910 - the economic and social forces of modernity were compelling art to change in certain ways. This was the point of the exhibition: how did fin de siecle artists respond to issues like increasing industrialization in Italy, the rise of socialism, the prevalence of positivism in scientific and philosophical circles, etc etc? The short (and admittdely too simple) answer: art couldn't remain as it had been in centuries before; it was 'challenged by' modernity to answer to its particular historical situation.

    (I'd love to translate all that into Italian, but I'd be here another half-hour!)
     
  16. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA/California--English
    jrb123: The economic and social forces of modernity were compelling art to change in certain ways. This was the point of the exhibition: how did fin de siecle artists respond to issues like increasing industrialization in Italy, the rise of socialism, the prevalence of positivism in scientific and philosophical circles, etc. etc.? The short (and admittdely too simple) answer: art couldn't remain as it had been in centuries before; it was 'challenged by' modernity to answer to its particular historical situation.

    DAH: The fin-de-siècle period, roughly the years 1880 to 1900, was characterized by great cultural and political ambivalence, an anxiety for things lost, and a longing for the new. It also included an outpouring of intellectual responses to the conflicting times from such eminent writers as T. H. Huxley, Emma Goldman, William James, H. G Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. Excerpt from The Fin de Siècle: A Reader in Cultural History, c. 1880-1900, Edited by Sally Ledger and Roger Luckhurst, Oxford University Press, 2000
     
  17. Interesting to hear the art discussion. To me you need a more marketing-oriented title (of course, that's my profession). To me, "Arte alla prova della modernità," despite the excellent translations above, doesn't survive the language change without the exhibit sounding quite academic. I'd probably stay home. I might, however, go to see something called: "Staying Alive: How Art Made It into the 20th Century (and Lived to Tell the Tale)." The part after the colon could be in smaller type, obviously.

    HOWEVER I am very well aware that this is an answer to which there has been no question.
     
  18. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA/California--English
    e' un buon sequire di piu' dialogo :thumbsup:
     
  19. Drusillo

    Drusillo Senior Member

    Stuttgart- Germany
    Italian-Italy
    What do you mean? (give us also the English translation)
     
  20. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    USA/California--English
    Drusillo: in AE: we use "seque." it comes from seguire.

    It is a good segue (lead into, to follow with) some more dialogue.
     
  21. jrb123 New Member

    San Francisco
    English, USA
    Agreed, carrickp, that the title is a rather clunky one. However, I'm just a reviewer of the exhibition, not the curator! The title was a done deal before I got to it.

    Thanks, DAH, for the text about the fin de siecle!
     
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