OR IGINAL COPY
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery at Maurizio Cattelan and Gucci’s boundaryblurring exhibition, “The Artist is Present”. By Dana Koh
Wait a minute. Haven’t we already seen “The Artist is Present”, an exhibition that gained widespread acclaim under the hands of performance artist Marina Abramovic? That was the question running through the heads of fashion and art cognoscenti alike, upon receiving news of an art collaboration of the same name—this time, between satirical artist, Maurizio Cattelan and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele.
Like its title, the entire exhibition is an intentional act of appropriation, addressing how originality can be achieved through the art of replication or repetition, and how originals can be preserved, and sometimes even revived, through copies.Artworks by over 30 artists walk, blur and cross the lines between authenticity and imitation, all in an attempt to explore the age of unapologetic copying that hat we live in, questioning the most hallowed principles of art today.“Copying ying is like a blasphemy: It could seem not respectful towards God, but at t the same time is the significative recognition of its existence,” said Cattelan, telan, who replicated the Sistine Chapel in 1:6 scale, making Michelangelo’s masterpiece suddenly ultra-accessible and seen in Shanghai. Sacrilegious? ? Arguably so, but it is also genius in the way this resurrects the relationship between art and audience, albeit through warped and wondrous ways.And And isn’t that the crux of what art is—to be seen and to inspire? speaks to the conceptual curator about “The Artist is Present”, , on till 16 December at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai.
We come from very diverse backgrounds and modes of creation. tion. I find fashion fascinating for its double nature. On the one hand, it’s a really advanced industrial and economic system, involving so many people in the production chain; on the other, it seems to be depending on one head only, which is the creative director’s head: She/he has to make rapid and instinctual choices, on which all those people rely on. I work in a completely different way; I prefer not to be bound to anyone that counts on my inspiration to make a living, that’s why I always avoided having a studio.We’re both fascinated by the overlap between these two different methods of being creative, and if it’s true that opposites attract; I promise our collaboration is working!
Clockwise from left: Artist and curator of “The Artist is Present”, Maurizio Cattelan.Untitled by Maurizio Cattelan. Carina Lau and Alessandro Michele. Eternity by Xu Zhen. A Gucci Sylvie bag made of LEGO bricks by Andy Hung Chi-Kin. pink-blue by Kapwani Kiwanga. Liu Wen with a replica of the Hollywood sign. One of the rooms with (clockwise from top) Speech Bubbles by Philippe Parreno; Mollusk by Reena Spaulings; OVER AND OVER. OVER AND OVER. AND OVER AND OVER. AND OVER AND OVER. by Lawrence Weiner; andUntitled by Jose Dávila. The catalogue in the form of a broadsheet, calledThe New Work Times