The idea here is very simple and very complex at the same time. It is a celebration/mock of Maurizio Cattelan and Damien Hirst, and the art system they have revolutionized and derided over the past 25 years. The work is composed by an old 28cm-high Pinocchio puppet hanging from a 10-meter-long hemp rope, suspended at about 2m (or a lot more) over a small 24K gilded wooden staircase, while a fully multi-coloured Swarovski strass-embedded real French Bulldog’s skull watches the puppet from below.
Why Pinocchio? Although he has never declared it, Cattelan – “The Prankster” as defined by the New York Times – may be identified with Pinocchio, who is also the protagonist of one of his most important works: “Daddy, daddy” (2008), which depicts the puppet drowned in a pool at the Guggenheim. In my work, symbolically it is Pinocchio’s second suicide (or is it a second murder?).
The French Bulldog’s skull instead is obviously a reference to Damien Hirst’s “For the love of God”, in this case entitled “For the love of Dog” (GOD =DOG): Cattelan’s ideal competing artist or viceversa.
The staircase represent the stairway to heaven (success), to self-realization, eventually coinciding with death.
All this operation is celebratory, derisive, iconoclastic, symbolic – a sort of a concepual prank to the greatest prankster and to the wealthier of contemporary artists.
The two elements form a dramatic composition questioning the system (and the future) of contemporary art:
is contemporary art (starting) over again?
According to Francesco Bonami in his L’arte nel cesso (2017) tha parable of contemporary art started with Duchamp’s urinal 100 years ago and ended with Cattelan’s golden toilet. It is true and false at the same time. A paradimg is surely exhausted, but a new paradigm is uprising. Insisting on the old one, may turn art into some kind of hauntology, while the new one is still unknow and will uncover itself spontaneously at the right time,
New things needs to be explored, narrated, expressed by art means, I can name three main fields: SETI, AI, CRISPR. Also what governance for a fully globalised world and for a humanity about to become an interplanetary civilization?