Maurizio Cattelan

Posted: September 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: interviews | Tags: , , | No Comments »
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CHINESE PORTRAIT
Torno Subito*, Maurizio Cattelan’s solo show at the Galleria Neon, Bologna, 1989 (*Be right back)

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Photo: Pierpaolo Ferrari

The launch of Toilet Paper 8th issue at the Palais de Tokyo gave me the opportunity to get in touch with Maurizio Cattelan. Of course my idea was an interview for noblahblah. But I did not want to ask him about his work because you don’t want to explain what is inside Maurizio Cattelan’s mind. Reading interviews others conducted with him, I thought that most of the time they ask the wrong questions such as his supposedly provocative side for example. These people expect the artists to tell the truth about their work when artists are not necessarily in the position to tell the truth but rather to question things.
Cattelan’s early works are seen as various self portraits. The very first one was a photograph depicting him with his hands in the shape of a heart (Lessico Familiare, 1989). Senza titolo, made in 2001 for the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam is probably the most well-known of these self portraits: a sculpture depicting him peering from a hole in the floor of the room.
The idea behind a Chinese portrait is to get an abstract depiction of a person with spontaneous answers. It’s a bit like a game but in the end it becomes a serious thing. I thought it was the perfect way to conduct an interview with Maurizio Cattelan.

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Untitled, 2009. Photo: Zeno Zotti. Courtesy: Maurizio Cattelan Archive

If you were a natural phenomenon, you would be…
A sailing stone !
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_stone

If you were an animal, you would be…
A cat, the dilettante in fur you should never trust.

If you were a metal, you would be…
Titanium, low density and high resistance to corrosion in chlorin.

If you were a mythological being, you would be…
I’ve always wanted to go around with Dionysus’ ivy crown but Poseidon’s trident is an absolute women catcher.

If you were a famous human being, you would be…
Very scared.

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All, 2008. Photo: Markus Tretter. Courtesy: Maurizio Cattelan Archive

If you were a haircut, you would be…
Mullet hair style, definitely! Business in the front, party in the back.

If you were a color, you would be…
Black, to suit all the ladies.

If you were an item of clothing, you would be…
David Bowie’s tie-dye spandex pants. God bless David Bowie.

If you were a human activity, you would be…
Idleness, the beginning of all vices, the crown of all virtues.

If you were a job, you would be…
A nightclub bouncer so I can finally get myself in.

If you were an egg being cooked, you would be…
Wishing I was a chicken.

If you were a weapon, you would be…
A woman.

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Untitled, 2007. Courtesy: Maurizio Cattelan Archive

If you were a place, you would be…
A 4 000 meters snowy ridge in Valle d’Aosta called Il Naso. Hard to outline.

If you were a scent, you would be…
A nasty fish-scented snow smell.

If you were an adverb of time, you would be…
Next.

If you were a movie, you would be…
400 blows cause I have no socks left around these holes.

If you were a motto, you would be…
The trouble is, you think you have time.”

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Untitled, 1989. Courtesy: Maurizio Cattelan Archive