press release

"Presenting a Maurizio CaUelan exhibition nowadays ... is a perverted fad and suicidal madness" , writes Francesco Bonami in his essay for the exhibition catalogue.

Maurizio Cattelan (born in Padua in 1960) belongs to the younger generation of artists in Italy who have lent conceptual art a new dimension. Cattelan uses the characteristic parameters he sees in the specific context of each of his exhibitions as a starting point for his own subversive happenings. He successfully identifies the vulnerable points of a system in order to highlight them - not in a provocative and obvious way, but though imitating them or availing of their own intrinsic methods. The fact that he integrates people in his work (e.g. a football team, the staff or a museum or a gallery owner) who play themselves, gives his work the trangient character of a performance or an event. For instance, Cattelan had a party costume in the form of a huge phallus tailored for a French gallery owner who had to wear it during the whole exhibition. In another work a squirrel committed suicide and the incriminating weapon - a tiny revolver - remained on the scene of the crime. He also created quite a stir in a New York gallery by presenting a live donkey to the assembled company as a symbol of the artist.

Cattelan has had two bicycles installed for the exhibition entitled "Dynamo Secession" in the Vienna Secession, which will be ridden by two supervisors. The energy they produce will be used to drive a dynamo to generate the dim lighting (emanating from a 15 Watt bulb). In this work too, which began so harmlessly and cheerfully, something that is both disconcerting and underhanded emerges. Maurizio Cattelan's project for the Vienna Secession conforms to those ambivalent, tragic-comic "reality games" that, apart from criticising public institutions severely, also feature (as in the present case) themes such as apartheid, exploitation and racism.

PUBLICATION 20 Seiten, 1 Farbabbildung, 9 s/w-Abbildungen Text: Francesco Bonami, Werner Würtinger Secession 1997, ISBN 3-900803-87-0

MAURIZIO CATTELAN Selected exhibitions: 1989, Gallena Neon, Bologna; 1990, Studio Oggetto, Milan; Landau Gallery, Los Angeles; 1992, ""Edizioni dell'Obbligo", Juliet, Triester 1993, Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan; "Nachtschattengewächse", Museum Fridericianum, Cassel; "Aperto '93", Biennale of Venice; 1994, Galerie Analix, Geneva; Daniel Buchholz, Cologne; Laure Geniliard Gailery. London; Daniel Newburg Gallery, New York; Ma Galerie, Paris; 1996, Laure Genillard Gallery, London; Massimo De Carlo, Milan; Ars Futura, Zürich;...

Selected bibliography: J. Rian, "M. Cattelan", frieze, nr. 23, 1995; O. Zahm, "M. Cattelan", Artforum, nr. 10, 1995; "Das Spiel in der Kunst", Neue Galerie Graz and Arge Kunst, Bolzano, 1995 (catalogue); Le Consortium, Didon, 1995 (catalogue); J. Rian, "Maurizio Cattelan", Flash Art, nr. 190,1996; A. Vettese, "Art in Milan", Parkett, nr.46, 1996;...


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Maurizio Cattelan
"Dynamo Secession"