Curated by the artist, poet and performer Mirella Bentivoglio (Klagenfurt, 1922- Rome, 2017), the exhibition Materialization of language was inaugurated on 20 September 1978 at the Magazzini del Sale alle Zattere , as part of the XXXIX Venice Biennale .
Conceived as the story of the "relationship between woman and language" and dedicated to the verbal-visual research of 90 international artists and poetesses, the exhibition included a multiplicity of heterogeneous materials and individual and collective practices which, taken together, materialized a language understood and practiced as an "unconditional and transgressive" mode of communication. Rejecting the patriarchal language, visual and textual works, volumes of poetry and prose, artist books and embroidery, live performances and videos, drawings and graphics, notes and scribbles, sheets and papers were articulated in the 1978 exhibition as a poetic expression and critical awareness, image of a collective self-representation, individual memory traces, bodies in action.
The nature of "recognition", "census", "archive" of the exhibition made the distinction between the statute of the work and that of the document blurred, between the exhibition three-dimensionality and the editorial two-dimensionality, between the verticality of the museum wall and the horizontality of the archival showcase. On the other hand, intensifying the unpredictable relationship between the artifact and the restless life, the alphabetical search of the artists on display proceeded in parallel with an affirmation of identity, within a path that is as intellectual as it is political. It is perhaps no coincidence that 1978 is also the year of publication of the volume Taci, indeed it speaks. Diary of a feminist by the writer and art critic Carla Lonzi (Florence, 1931-Milan, 1982), theorist of self-awareness and sexual difference and co-founder in those years of the group, manifesto and publishing house Rivolta Feminine.