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Gianni Mottiartist sheet 36/55

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He's the artist in the wrong place at the right time. The performance dimension is very present in his work, whether he alone is in the situation that leads to the artwork, or whether he creates a situation involving other people.

PerformanceProcess Basel 2017-2018
tue 19 Sep 2017
1
19h30
Real Time (2017)Musée Tinguely - Solitude Park

Motti's work is based on the unexpected - always true to his motto, "wrong place, right time," he invites himself to places where nobody is expecting him. For PerformanceProcess he awaits visitors during the opening on 19 September 2017 at 7:30pm.

Park - anything can happen.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse 18.09-13.12.15
tue 08 Dec 2015
1
18h
performanceCentre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Gianni Motti

Guardie Svizzere (2015)
With the support of the Opéra de Fribourg for the loan of Carlotta ou la Vaticane's costumes.

fri 11 Dec 2015
1
17h
PerformanceCentre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Gianni Motti

Guardie Svizzere (2015)

sat 12 Dec 2015
sun 13 Dec 2015

Exhibitions

He's the artist in the wrong place at the right time. The performance dimension is very present in his work, whether he alone is in the situation that leads to the artwork, or whether he creates a situation involving other people.

60 years of performance art in Switzerland museum Tinguely, 20.09.2017 - 28.01.2018

The Big Illusion (1994, video)

6-screen installation set on monitors.

In 1995 Motti meets Mister RG, a famous magician. He becomes his assistant and quickly learns all the tricks of the trade - to the great astonishment of his mentor, who gradually initiates him into his most secret tricks.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre culturel suisse 18.09-13.12.15

Cosmic Storm (2006, 30')

Video, courtesy of the artist and galerie Perrotin, Paris

The Big Illusion (1994-2014, video, 60')

Presented in the Focus Gianni Motti

In 1995, Gianni Motti met Mister RG, a famous magician. He became his assistant and quickly learned all the tricks of the trade, to the astonishment of his teacher, who gradually taught him his most secret tricks. These six videos show the duo at work: the artist is cut into slices and pierced by spikes, has his head set on fire, and finds his body dislocated until he floats effortlessly in the air.

First Step in Belgium (2010)

Presented in the Focus Gianni Motti

Bronze sculpture

Gianni Motti had never set foot in Belgium. For his exhibition in Brussels in 2010, Motti did nothing extravagant: at D+T PROJECT he just exhibited a single slab bearing the imprint of his first step on Belgian soil, simply entitled First Step in Belgium. The gallerists had waited for him at the airport with a tray of cement to immortalise the event.

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biography

Born in 1958, lives in Geneva.
Gianni Motti has made his mark on the international scene with his very special brand of artistic activism. Faithful to his motto– “be in the wrong place at the right time”–he works in a whole range of settings, often outside the art world. A genius of the appropriation and manipulation of day-to-day occurrences or media events, he has developed an artistic strategy that involves infiltrating and hi-jacking existing situations. Often synonymous with public disorder, his actions are like grains of sand that can derail the smoothest-running systems.

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The big illusion

Gianni Motti presents a set of videos chronicling his experience with an illusionnist, a slab marked with his footprint, a video presenting him as a laboratory guinea pig, and a still-secret performance. ...

Gianni Motti presents a set of videos chronicling his experience with an illusionnist, a slab marked with his footprint, a video presenting him as a laboratory guinea pig, and a still-secret performance. 

Previously, Gianni Motti used magic ink to make two artworks for the exhibition Les Immatériaux at the Pompidou Centre (Magic Ink, 1985); tried to get into the White House (Motti 96', 1996); opened a therapist's office (Psy Room, 1996); hi-jacked a bus full of Japanese tourists to visit an exhibition (Pathfinder, 1997); infiltrated the 53rd session of the Human Rights Committee by occupying the seat of the Indonesian delegate (ONU, intervention, 1997); presented his horoscope on Canale 3 Toscana (Horoscope, 2001); posted Swiss guards at the entrance to the Swiss Institute in New York (Swiss Guards of Vatican, 2001); re-formed the band Bloody Riot for a final concert at the Villa Médicis (Bloody Riot in concerto, 2002); asked a detachment of US soldiers to look after security at the Prague Biennale (Blitz, 2003); put a meditating police officer at the centre of the Frieze Art Fair in London (Pre-Emptive Act, 2007); along with many other performances focusing on situation and intervention.

Gianni Motti adopts an “insular” approach to performance that does not depend on the rules of the community or the stage. He plays with improvisation, spontaneity and “letting things happen” by chance in accordance with the context and the situation in which he acts and creates. His interventions are carried out discreetly, almost imperceptibly, in day-to-day settings, whilst at the same time being meaningful acts. They relate to life in direct continuity, maintaining the capacity for active intervention to command our attention, awaken slumbering consciousness, and elevate our minds. In 1994, Gianni Motti met the magician Mister RG and became his pupil for two weeks. The Big Illusion (1994–1995, 60 minutes, looped) is a set of six videos showing this unlikely duo in action: Motti levitates to the top of a mountain, finds himself in a large box run through with long, sharp blades, appears among large pieces of fabric fluttering in the wind at the edge of a precipice, carries a cage on his head that then has knives driven through it, wears a metal box on his head that is set on fire, and passes his hand through a razor-sharp ring.

Until 2010, Gianni Motti had never set foot in Belgium. When invited to exhibit in Brussels at D+T Project, the gallery directors waited for him at the airport with a bag of cement to immortalise his first step on Belgian soil, on 9 February 2010 at 7.55 am. The slab is the imprint of this performance. In 2005, Gianni Motti walked along the deserted tunnel of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), the most powerful particle accelerator in the world at CERN, whose mission is to reproduce the earliest conditions of the universe, the moments just after the Big Bang and the disappearance of antimatter. A year after that, Gianni Motti went back to CERN. For Cosmic Storm (2006, 30 minutes, looped), he filmed himself in the room containing the sensor that records and visualises cosmic rays—invisible particles that constantly fall on our planet and pass right through us—using millions of ultra-fine wires. Motti is motionless, sitting in the middle of the room, filmed using an infrared camera (so as to be visible in the dark room). He looks like an object for study, the subject of an experiment, a guinea pig under observation bombarded by countless beams of light.

Until the day of his performance at the CCS between 18 September and 13 December 2015, Gianni Motti will say nothing about what he is going to do: “Performance has become a kind of well-oiled show. Everything is planned in advance. There's no risk-taking.” Nothing will be revealed in advance, the secret will be kept and the mystery preserved: “I like it when there's something dark behind an artwork. It's almost like a conspiracy. An artwork might say: “Who benefits from the crime?” And in the precise case of the CCS performance, Motti adds: “if it's a crime, it will be a crime of passion”.

 

Timothée Chaillou, art critic and freelance curator

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