MAURIZIO CATTELAN IT'S THE MOMENT OF THE TRUTH
Avec le lancement de son exposition au Guggenheim Museum de New York, qui réunie une totalité de son œuvre, l'artiste contemporain Maurizio Cattelan annonce que c'est la première et la dernière fois qu'il présente une rétrospective.
Exposition Visible jusqu'au 22 Janvier 2012
Franco Fanelli : Is it true that...?
Maurizio Cattelan : It’s completely true, I can confirm it.
Sorry, confirm what?
Oh, I don’t know. You tell me.
Is it true that the retrospective at the Guggenheim will conclude your career as an artist?
This will be my first and last retrospective, at least in the sense of an exhibition that I have personally had a hand in. The “Cattelan Archive” will be taking over after that. There are already more [projects] in the pipeline, but I won’t be directly involved. I will just pretend that I’m dead.
How is the exhibition organised?
There are about 130 works from museums and private collections. I believe the first one dates back to 1989-90, when I started out. There aren’t any earlier works. Or rather, there are a few design objects, but I don’t consider them works. The last one is a scaled-down version of the Piazza Affari installation in Milan [LOVE, 2010].
Be honest: do you have a brand new work waiting in the wings, one of your classic show stoppers?
No, there won’t be any new works. If anything, the works in the exhibition have been arranged without following a particular hierarchy, which means that works of greater or lesser importance can all be read on the same level and that viewers will be able to make their own connections. So what is actually new is the way the works have been installed.
Will you be concentrating on your new project, Toilet Paper magazine, which you launched in January with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari?
Yes, and on other things too, although I’m not quite sure what. I see this retrospective as an opportunity to pause and reflect [on my work], because until now I haven’t stopped for a second. I’ve always refused to show more than two or three works at a time. I’ve had other offers to do a retrospective, but the Guggenheim exhibition is the first one I’ve agreed to because I wanted to see all of my works together and reflect on them. I also wanted to understand some of my obsessions, things that might not seem important but that all come out in the end. And I thought that the time was right to close a chapter. I see my retirement as a way of reinventing myself. I don’t know how just yet, but there are lots of possibilities. Whatever I do, I’m not going to start writing.
Will you open a gallery? After all, you’ve done it once before when you ran the tiny Wrong Gallery in New York with Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick [2002-05].
No, I don’t think I’ll open a gallery, at least not a gallery in the traditional sense of the word. But I do want to keep track of what’s happening around the world, especially what the younger artists are doing and I might get involved with another biennial like the one I curated [in Berlin] in 2006 with Gioni and Subotnick. That said, I don’t see myself as a curator; I’d be a terrible curator. Whatever I’ve done, be it curate a biennial or open a gallery in Chelsea, it hasn’t been out of necessity, but to express my point of view, my position. When we opened the Wrong Gallery in Chelsea, we did it because we felt that a certain sense of light-heartedness had disappeared from the process of producing art. Professionalism is fine, but to us it somehow seemed that it was undermining spontaneity, and that everything had become serious and serial. So we thought: let’s try and approach this as if we were teenagers. I don’t think that we changed the course of history, but we definitely made people think.
Picasso painted Guernica, 1937, when he was 56, De Kooning made a number of masterpieces in his 50s, and Goya declared that “I am still learning” when he was an old man. Don’t you think that it’s a bit early to retire at 51?
In the art world, it’s not an easy decision to take. It suggests that you’ve understood and dealt with issues that, deep down, I don’t think I’ve understood or dealt with. Perhaps it was easier for me because I came to art via some rather unusual routes. But now my peers are continuously opening new studio spaces and producing art on an almost industrial level, I can’t compete. My space is elsewhere. My decision is a natural response to what is happening around me, and I’m referring to my specific circumstances here. For me, retirement is just another stage in my development: I know myself better, and I also know that I don’t want to follow certain practices that seem widespread nowadays. I don’t want a team of 40-odd assistants. I’ve never had one before and I don’t see why I should start now. I must admit that it’s quite a challenge, and I hope I’m up to it.
You have mentioned plans to create a “Cattelan Archive”. Who will run it?
That’s a good question. I’ll have to think about it, perhaps someone who is already an archivist, I haven’t got a clue. The archive concept is a fairly simple one, it’s a virtual place that houses all the works together in one spot. There are people who understand exactly how I work, who have followed me this far and who know how to display a good piece.
How many works have you produced in total?
They will all be on show at the Guggenheim. It’s easy to tally them up: two to three works per year. I’ve done a few limited editions, two or three, I think. Around 1989-90 I made the odd mistake, but I was still learning.
Given that it’s time to look back at your work…
It’s the moment of truth!
...who’s the culprit, the first gallery owner who spotted you and introduced you to the world as an artist?
Well, that’s not really how it works... If we’re talking about who offered me the chance to show my work, the first encounter—with the Neon Gallery in Bologna—was quite random.
Because a brochure of mine, featuring a few objects that I had made and decorated my home with, ended up in their postbox. They got in touch with me and said: “We’re reopening with a group show. Lots of artists will be exhibiting. You should bring your work along too.” After I’d tested the water, they asked me to do something else with them, and I dived right in. The same rationale led me to move from Bologna to Milan. I tried out another gallery there, but the owner wasn’t sure about me, so I left. Then I met Massimo De Carlo, who told me: “I still haven’t figured out whether you really want to work or whether you’re just messing around. If you want to work, I’m here.” So we started working together.
Will you stay in New York?
I’m always travelling around and I’m very tied to Italy. But New York is still an important city, even though it’s having a hard time right now.
Surprise us: tell us that the catalogue for the Guggenheim exhibition will be completely different.
I’m afraid not. It’s going to be very traditional, with a long essay by [Guggenheim chief curator] Nancy Spector. The format is small, like an exercise book, and it will include images of all the works in the show, plus any that we don’t install. It’s disappointing I know, and I’m especially sorry because Il Giornale dell’Arte [The Art Newspaper’s sister paper in Italy] was one of the few that wrote about the 1988 exhibition at the Neon Gallery in Bologna, and I was really pleased because it was totally unexpected. In those days I just got by and did everything myself.
Sometimes we get excited too. So I’d like to finish with a bit of a corny question: what advice would you give to a young artist?
Work, work, work; I never stopped. And be patient. I waited ten years for the phone to start ringing.
Maurizio Cattelan：这是我的第一场、也是最后一场回顾展，至少从我亲自参与到展览中这个角度来说。在这场展览之后，“Cattelan Archive”将会接管我的作品。现在已经有更多的项目在筹备之中了，不过我都不会直接参与，我会假装我已经死了。
Maurizio Cattelan：它大概展出了130件由各博物馆和私人藏家提供的作品。我相信其中创作年 代最早的作品要追溯到1989至1990年。没有更早的作品了，或者说，有一些更早的设计物品，但我不会将它们看作是作品。最晚的一件作品则是按比例缩小 的Piazza Affari的装置（“LOVE”）。
Franco Fanelli：你会将重心转移到你和摄影师Pierpaolo Ferrari在1月份创办的杂志《Toilet Paper》上吗？
Maurizio Cattelan：是的，以及一些别的事，不过我还不确定究竟都有些什么。我将这次回顾展看 作是一次停下来、并对我的作品进行反思的机会，因为到现在为止我从来没有停歇过一刻。我之前从不会在一场展览中展出3件以上的作品。也有一些别的机构想为 我办回顾展，但古根海姆是我同意的第一间，因为我想把所有的作品集中起来并对它们进行反思。我将我的隐退看作是一种彻底改造自己的方式。我不知道怎样改 变，但是存在许多种可能性。不过无论我未来做什么，我肯定不会开始写东西。
Franco Fanelli：你会开一间画廊吗？毕竟你之前曾和Massimiliano Gioni、Ali Subotnick在纽约创办过微型的Wrong画廊。
Maurizio Cattelan：我想我不会开画廊，至少不会是那种传统意义上的画廊。不过我的确希望以后 能继续了解艺术圈的动态，尤其是那些年轻艺术家正在做的事；也许我还会参加另一次与我2006年时在柏林策划过的双年展类似的双年展。也就是说，我不会把 我自己看成是一名简单的策展人，而是一名十分厉害的策展人。我过去所做的事，无论是策划双年展还是在切尔西开办画廊，这些都不是出于必需，而是为了表达我 自己的观点、我的立场。当我们在切尔西开办Wrong画廊时，我们都有一种逃离了艺术创作过程的轻松感。专业化是可以的，但对我们来说，它在某种程度上破 坏了自发性，一切事物都变得严肃而且连续了。所以我们想：让我们试着把自己当成是青少年一样来处理这些事。我不认为我们改变了历史的进程，但是我们肯定启 发了人们的思维。
Franco Fanelli：毕加索在1937年时画下了作品“Guernica”，当时他56岁；德·库宁（De Kooning）在他50多岁的时候创作了许多大师级作品；而戈雅（Goya）在他年龄已经很大了的时候还表示“我一直在学习进步”。你不认为你在51岁就退休有些早吗？
Maurizio Cattelan：在艺术界里，这不是一个很容易就能做出的决定。这表示你已经从内心深处理 解并且处理好了一些问题，我不认为我已经达到了这个程度。这对于我来说本来应该比较容易，因为我进入艺术圈的过程非常与众不同。但是现在我的同辈人不断地 在开办新的工作室，以一种几乎产业化了的水平创作作品，我无法与之竞争。我的决定是我面对这一切情形的自然反应——我指的是我的特定环境。对我来说，退休 是我发展过程中的另一时期：我非常了解我自己，我知道我不想跟随那种所谓的“大潮”。我不想拥有40个奇奇怪怪的助手——我之前从来没有过，我也看不出我 为什么要开始这样做。
Tags : picasso, moment, exposition, pointopoint, exhibition, studio, New York, art contemporary, truth, Guggenheim, Random, guggenheim museum, de kooning, Maurizio Cattelan, Cattelan Archive