MAURIZIO CATTELAN THE LAST JUDGMENT
The titles of each of his exhibitions sound like dying knells and resound like admonitions. So, after Not Afraid of Love, the deeply shifting retrospective on the Monnaie de Paris in 2016, Amen in Warsaw in 2012 and Breath Ghosts Blind, his XXL exhibition at the Hangar Bicocca in Milan (see Acumen n°14), for his first solo exhibition in China, the Italian star of up to date art levels The Final Judgment. A well-ordered chaos, elaborated in homage to the large fresco of the Last Judgment of the Sistine Chapel, with the attract of Apocalypse or funeral march…
Gathered in a kind of macabre dance in open area, the sculptures and installations introduced as so many memento mori, exist to show the gravity of the work, too typically lowered to its iconoclasm and its irreverence. Beyond the provocations, subsequently, but in addition past the falsely narcissistic staging of the star artist, it is a meditation on dying, loneliness and wandering that's proposed to us. To the autumn of the agglutinated our bodies of the damned sucked by the chasms of Michelangelo’s Inferno solutions the decay and the withering of the ghostly and solitary our bodies or the corpses and the abandoned crevices of Cattelan.
Shrunken our bodies (such as the miniaturized clones of the artist showing surreptitiously here and there, sitting at the edge of the void or rising from a gaping hole…); etiolated our bodies (akin to his two falsely moribund doubles lying aspect by aspect on a coffin-like mattress…); bodies curled up on the ground and petrified in white marble; bodies shot (as in the case of the suicidal squirrel littering the Formica table of his doll’s kitchen or the surprising remains of the horse pierced with an indication bearing the Christian acronym INRI); our bodies suspended like hangers or embedded in the walls; our bodies buried with the looks of recumbents (corresponding to Zhang San, the homeless man beneath his dingy blanket pecked by pigeons…); our bodies decreased to absence (a reputation written in neon, previous boots where crops have grown…), to stigmata (monumental stained ft) or to gestures of supplication (palms in prayer rising from quicksand).
Typically facetious and irreverent, the dramaturgy of the physique is, with Maurizio Cattelan, deeply macabre and, despite appearances, typically mystical. An indication of the occasions? The Final Judgment testifies to this with a troubling acuity: never before has his grave, excavated from the bottom (for the first time in 1997), been so deep and its adjoining mound of earth so outstanding… As for the joyful acrobatics of his skeletons, which were not taken critically prior to now (within the century earlier than), they've taken on a totally new tragic dimension.
Exhibition «Maurizio Cattelan”: The Final Judgment
UCCA – Middle for Modern Artwork – Chaoyang District, Beijing – Till February 20, 2022
And «Breath Ghosts Blind” – Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan – Till February 20, 2022