But while we are waiting, we can go see All—the title of the New York exhibit—and revisit his story made up of composed whispers and breathtaking shouts; his work has always led people to stare at themselves mercilessly in the mirror and see human atrocities and weaknesses, breaking down the taboos of a society which Cattelan does not deny being part of, but which, like a modern-day jester, he has managed to expose with frozen tears and a barely suppressed smile.
Maria Cristina Didero: Who is Maurizio Cattelan?
Maurizio Cattelan: Given the fact that I once referred to myself as an "imagination worker," retirement seems to be the most appropriate goal.
The number one rule in life?
Everyone has to die.
Everyone wants to die as late as possible.
You have been called post-modern, post-studio ... do you identify with any art movement?
We all seek immortality.
What is an artist's fundamental quality?
To think of death as a resource and not as a limitation.
What tool is essential for you to complete a piece?
It was the phone.
The answer is within you, and it’s wrong.
All and none. Once they are out in the world, they follow their own paths and begin to walk on their own two legs.
And a piece that is not yours that you detest?
I detest only my work.
Your ideal home?
My house has always been completely empty.
Wherever it is, my house would always be empty.
Tell me a story about your home.
I sleep very well in my house. There are only two chairs and a table. A closet full of white tee shirts and black jeans. I also have shoes that I use every day because I have to.
What is your favorite corner?
No, but I think it has in my life, or so they say.
Do you love order or disorder?
Both, but well balanced.
Where do you relax?
At the park, like a good pensioner.
Is there a special place you design, think, write?
Also at the park, and never alone.
Are you a collector?
I collect lies that are more or less related to reality.
If you don't leave you don't come back; but there are some people that leave and never come back and others who have never left but always come back.
Dogs, cats or no animal?
All the animals that I have are already stuffed.
Do you have an object or work of art that you never part with?
I would never part with my jeans, otherwise I would have to go out in my underwear.
What other European cities do you like to visit?
I travel a lot but in the end I always prefer to bike around the neighborhood.
Which neighborhood, in which city?
The one I'm in at that very moment.
What European city would recommend to a creative person?
The answer is within you, and it's wrong.
None in reality, but we always work until the day we retire, which for me seems to have finally arrived.
Where you would like to live?
In my house.
What trip do you dream of taking?
To discover a corner in my neighborhood that I don't know yet.
What are you reading now?
My unauthorized autobiography by Francesco Bonami. I am trying to understand myself.
Maurizio Cattelan: All
4 November 2011–22 January 2012
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York