The estate agency that resells unused public properties to citizens

A mysterious agency provocatively puts on the market   public properties with little, bad or no use at all. It is not a scam, but the latest project by Neapolitan artist Giovanni Scotti.

«Large ballroom, partially to be renovated, with reserved park, ideal for those who wants to organize meetings and events».

«Spacious studio/office room, very bright, partially furnished, with sea view, ideal for artists and professionals in the cultural and creative industries».

«Great theater to be entirely renovated, ideal for those who want to invest in art and culture with an innovative project».

The announcements of the Innobiliare Sud Ovest agency seem a dream, a dream that, apparently but also paradoxically, few could afford and that could be within anyone’s reach. What’s the catch?

All advertisements are preceded by the infamous place–name of Bagnoli, and followed by the wording «in the splendid setting of Costanzo Ciano complex (former NATO Base)». If deception is involved, then it is the result of an intelligent operation of "artistic marketing", which aims at an awareness and a possible cultural solution: the properties displayed are in fact neither for sale nor for rent, as the good that the agency puts at the core of its activities is not the one, movable or immovable, which is described in the advertisements but, as the contract proposed by the agency itself states, the right to exercise the function of active citizen».

Founded by the Neapolitan artist Giovanni Scotti, who has always been involved in the investigation of the relationship between man and its habitat, in collaboration with the writer Chiara Zocchi and the art historian Diago Mantoan, Innobiliare Sud Ovest triggers a series of short circuits with a high rate of provocation that, if well thought out, can stir the water of a stagnant, sometimes even turbid situation.

The history of the former NATO base in Bagnoli, active from 1953 to 2013 within a complex of fascist origin now owned by Fondazione Banco di Napoli per l’Assistenza all’Infanzia (a Public Company for Personal Service), is in fact far too complex to be summarized in a few paragraphs; but Scotti and his team literally took to the streets to raise public awareness on the issue of its redevelopment, on an intended use on which, again by contract, the agency proposes to have decision–making power.

Behind the façade of the agency, a simple and effective commercial design that consciously mimics the “competitors”, operates an artistic and cultural organization that plays with the classic and ambivalent iconography of power — always suspended between truth and concealment , between reality and fiction — reinterpreting it in turn through the recontextualization of a vocabulary of communication already known and deliberately ambiguous.

Parodical twists that also reverberate in the very name if the agency, where a double n takes the places of a double m and, in Italian, turns a real estate business into an ironic denunciation of all that is not noble behind many of the Italian events related to public good.

Subtracted from the advertising layout, Scotti’s photos pay homage on the one hand to the documentary component of Italian landscape photography, and on the other to the objectivity of German landscape photography, hovering between a tradition rooted in the Mediterranean approach and a modus operandi borrowed from the North European one.

The agency, which has seen the official launching in Edenlandia Food and Leisure Park (with the “matronage” of Museo Madre – Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee) postponed due to Covid–19, is the second chapter of Scotti’s Cinnamon Heart: Classified tilogy, and is considering the opening of a branch in the North East soon.

Latest on Art

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram