Love and Theft
“Real artists don’t starve” was the starting point for the second workshop in Manifattura, led by the creative duo vedovamazzei. This provocation, which recalls the title of a recent book by Jeff Goins1, introduced the six young artists to a reflection on the space between art and the economy.
The dialogue took its inspiration from a photograph that documents the work of the African-American artist David Hammons, taken in New York. Wanting to ironically show how the profession of an artist was in all respects similar to that of a salesman, Hammons started selling snowballs on the city’s streets. His intention wasn’t to create a piece of performance art, nor to inaugurate an exhibition attracting critics or the press, it was simply to sell useless objects to the astonished passers-by.
Stella Scala and Simeone Crispino, the two artists who form the duo vedovamazzei, used this provocative idea to help the six young artists address this central theme in their research. In fact, their works stand out not so much for a particular technique, but for an ironic and subtle vision of reality, which sometimes lends itself to unmasking the absurdity that is hidden in conventions and in making art itself. The workshop became an occasion to reflect on the art market, and to focus on the dynamics and tendencies that operate within it.
Straight away, the group decided on the idea of creating an enormous sign in neon. The work, which is placed horizontally on the ceiling of the entrance gallery of the Manifattura Tabacchi, takes on the function of lighting and, at the same time, is the first thing that welcomes the visitor.
This warning, that Love is Theft, is an appropriation and transformation of the title of the workshop designed by vedovamazzei: Love and Theft, which is in turn borrowed from a 2001 Bob Dylan album. The two nouns placed side by side in the title thus form a declaration and become more assertive, almost admonishing the viewer.
Mohsen Baghernejad Moghanjooghi,Matteo Coluccia, Stefano Giuri, Lori Lako, Gioele Pomante,Tatiana Stropkaiová
Love is theft
Neon 12 mm, 1370×136 cm
The idea came from the workshop Love is Theft with vedovamazzei, which took its cues from the album by Bob Dylan, released on 11 September 2001. Clinging to the ceiling of the entrance gallery of the Manifattura Tabacchi is a neon sign of white light. Love is theft, the title of the workshop is transformed into a declaration. Those who pass under are attracted by its light, its luminous appeal enveloping them with its presence.
Ph. OKNO Studio