From 25 September 1997 to 18 January 1998
Curated by Giorgio Verzotti
In just a few years Maurizio Cattelan (Padua, 1960), has emerged as one of the most interesting artists of his generation. Intervening in the art system with operations that upset the way it functions and subject it to analysis, confronting it with the vast sphere of information systems, he creates works that lead to a reflection on the problematic nature of the art-life relationship. In fact his works often reflect on social dynamics, to the point where his activity has come to include operations that might be defined as extra-artistic, such as the planning and co-editing of a magazine that uses images previously published by other journals, the creation of imaginary monetary prizes and the establishment of an extremely anomalous 6th Caribbean Biennial where, in an ironic take on the overabundance of biennial art events, a group of artists, chosen by Cattelan himself, was literally invited to “take a vacation.” The three works presented on this occasion are distinguished both by confrontation and direct dialogue with the spaces of the museum and by the completely unconventional use of those spaces.
In one room three elongated supermarket carts seem momentarily abandoned in order to give time to an improbable purchaser to choose which works to take away from the Castello di Rivoli collection; in another room, next to a fireplace, a curled up dog seems to sleep placidly, but the title of the work reads Stone Dead (Morto stecchito), and the dog, in fact, is taxidermed. Equally peacefully, a child in sweatshirt and jeans, seated at a school desk opposite a window, turns his back to the visitor; approaching the work, one discovers that it is not a child, but a latex mannequin with the specific features of the artist’s face and with its hands nailed to the desk by two pencils. Once again the title is ironically emblematic: Charlie don’t surf (Charlie non fa il surf).