Maurizio Cattelan
Shit and Die

17 November 2014

“Gentlemen, the party’s over. The curtain has fallen,” he had declared on April 1, 2011. And instead Maurizio Cattelan has come back to remind us that we are all going to die, but not until we’ve had a hearty laugh first. His show for Artissima’s program of exhibitions, running until January 11, is entitled Shit and Die, is curated together with Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini (two young women, a fact in itself subversive in Italy) and is a journey into the bowels of Turin: the city that drove Nietzsche mad, mecca of the occult and first capital of our troubled country. The inspiration came from One Hundred Live and Die (1984), a rainbow of colored neon tubes with which Bruce Nauman summed up what it means to be in the world. Harking back to it, at a distance of thirty years, is a tribute to the American artist, but also a warning against the delusions of omnipotence that comes from having an iPhone in your pocket. And not coincidentally, while the art market goes into raptures over ever more multimedia artists, labeled as “post-internet,” Cattelan greets us on the steps of Palazzo Cavour, in Turin, with forty thousand one-dollar banknotes glued to the walls and a lot of paint, to speak of mental projections, utopian ideas, sexuality and social status. Space therefore for the ambiguity of the subject, for caricature, for provocation and for wonder with the works of Alexandre Singh, Davide Balula, Carlo Mollino, George Condo, Martin Creed and others. Shit and Die is not to be missed, even though it’s not an exhibition: if anything, it’s a journey in a haunted house, on which the delirium of an artistic mind (or a dysfunctional one, you choose) has contrived a series of slaps and caresses.

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Foto / Photos: Zeno Zotti


Sara Dolfi Agostini

A curator and journalist, she lives between Italy and the United States, but often changes course to visit museums, biennials and artist’s studios. Specializing in contemporary art and photography, she co-curated the public art project ArtLine Milano and wrote the book Collezionare Fotografia (2010, with Denis Curti). She has been contributing to Il Sole 24 Ore since 2008.


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