Drama, sadness and controversy: Mauricio Cattelan lives in Milan.
At the Pirelli HangarBicocca hangar in Milan, Maurizio Cattelan’s “Breath Ghosts Blind” is a real-life thriller. It includes an army of taxi pigeons and a statue depicting 9/11.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the work of Italian artist Mauricio Cattelan, it’s the unexpected. His latest performance dominates Pirelli HangarBicocca. The vast expanse of Milan is no exception. ‘Breath Ghosts Blind’ is all about the circle of life. which translates to Cattelan’s terminology, meaning a roller coaster of emotions, symbols and drama.
The show is curated by Roberta Tenconi and Vicente Todolí and is screened over three venues. Set the scene like a performance in a play. These include new sculptures. breath (2021); A restructuring of the artist’s pigeon-toed historical interventions at the 1997 Venice Biennale, now presented under the title ghost (2021); and a grand new assignment installation. blind (2021).
Cattelan has a knack for turning sensations into spatial experiences. Artists bind these feelings with controversy, humor and realism. and often all three (Think headless horses, bananas, Art Basel, golden loos that were robbed from stately homes. or even the Venetian cat cauldron for our Artist’s Palate series), but here the mood is gloomy, solemn, and melancholy – and not in the slightest provocative.
previous work by Maurizio-Cettelan: no name 2007 Exhibition view Broken, Fondation Beyeler 2013. Photo: Zeno Zotti
‘Breath Ghosts Blind’ deals with existential questions that affect us all. life cycle from birth to death These are the passions of Maurizio Cattelan and his work as an antenna that aligns with the world. which can stimulate our historical experience. even if it involves a dramatic event,’ explains Tenconi.
The exhibition starts on the square of the place too. breathThe Man and the Dog is made of Carrara marble. lying on the floor Both are in fetal position. Life-sized figures face each other in tense scenes with intimacy, introspection, and vulnerability.
Mauricio Cattelan, breath2021. Installation view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2021, Carrara marble. Courtesy of artists Marian Goodman Gallery and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.
Extensive Navate exhibition space ghostA new version of Cattelan’s signature work is presented at the 47th and 54th Venice Biennales under the title. tourist (1997) and other people (2011). The name change felt appropriate. in this new environment A flock of taxidermy pigeons has an army that feels less like a visitor and more like a permanent fixture. which haunts the historic industrial area like a hunch
‘Art has been associated with the same topic from the beginning of human history: creation, life, death. This is connected to each artist’s ambition to become eternal through their work,’ says Cattelan. Face the two sides of a coin: the feeling of omnipotence and the feeling of failure. It is a roller coaster of exhilarating altitude and very steep slopes. The second part is also the most important. Like the previous exhibition This exhibition is a combination of all these elements.’
Mauricio Cattelan, ghost2021. Installation view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2021, Pigeon Taxi. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.
The third, final, and most powerful act takes place in an area known as Cubo. blindBlack resin monoliths outweigh the sorrows, losses and tragedy of the past. This tower contrasts with the silhouette of the Cattelan plane, fittingly with the image that has become deeply rooted in the historical drama: Terrorism at the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. This is a memorial in its meaning. Indeed, Cattelan does not shy away from the harsh reality of events. but turned it into a symbol of universal suffering.
In ‘Breath Ghosts Blind’, Mauricio Cattelan bravely faces a crack in the human condition. purpose of life inevitable death and everything that happened in between §