Shit and Die

For the 2014 edition of One Torino Maurizio Cattelan, flanked by Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini, has put together a “speleological” study of the city, its stories and its curiosities.

Shit and Die
“Shit and Die” is a unique and transversal exhibition created through Artissima’s ability to take up a challenge by bringing innovation and experimentation to every edition, including its parallel event One Torino. It is a project that captures the cultural – and not only commercial – vocation of the fair.
Starting last year’s experience, which presented a “multi-sited museum” throughout the city, with five shows and the involvement of institutions known for their excellence within the contemporary art world, in 2014 the One Torino exhibition is re-inventing itself with “Shit and Die”, an unprecedented project hosted in the evocative setting of Palazzo Cavour.
Shit and Die
Top: Rachel De Joode, The Residue of those Celestial Objects bound to our Sun by Gravity (Venus), 2013. C-Print, 75 x 92 cm. Courtesy Neumeister Bar-Am (detail). Above: “Shit and Die”, exhibition view
As an event created out of a desire for constant experimentation and the necessity of involving unexpected views on contemporary art, Sarah Cosulich, director of Artissima, invited Maurizio Cattelan to curate this year’s One Torino 2014. A “non-curator”, a retired artist and a curious soul with a talent for discovering and showcasing, Maurizio Cattelan accepted the challenge and, flanked by two young curators, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini, has put together a “speleological” study of the city, its stories and its curiosities.
“Shit and Die” is the result of a process for which Torino is the primary source of inspiration, but which nevertheless addresses the universal themes of life, the body and the ambiguities of the human condition.
The project designed by the three curators for what was the residency of Count Cavour, a site rooted in the city’s cultural, historical and artistic heritage, looks to the present and its collective imagination. Combining mysterious memories, curious stories and phantoms of Torino, the show by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini interweaves objects coming from the city and works by 60 artists, constructing an original journey rich in doubts and questions. The exhibition remains a subjective and obsessive composition that is arbitrarily limitless, in which the protagonist is always the visitor.
Shit and die
Michele De Lucchi, Edifici vuoti, pero, 2014. Courtesy: Antonia Jannone. Disegni di Architettura, Corso Garibaldi 125, 20121 Milano. Ph. Michele De Lucchi
“Shit and Die” owes its title to the significant work by Bruce Nauman One Hundred Live and Die from 1984, in which short slogans written in neon tell stories and bring together living beings through the word, the implicit gesture, space and time.
The exhibition is laid out along a path divided into seven sections, each of which has a specific object, place or suggestion encountered in the city collections as a point of departure. The objects dotting the rooms of Palazzo Cavour have been loaned by somewhat unconventional collections and renowned institutions in the city and the environs, from the Olivetti residential unit in Ivrea to the Cesare Lombroso Museum of Criminal Anthropology, the Luigi Rolando Museum of Human Anatomy, Casa Mollino, the Risorgimento Museum, the La Gaia Collection, the GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Torino, the MUSEION Foundation/Enea Righi Collection, the Ettore Fico Foundation and the Aldo Mondino Foundation.
Shit and die
Roni Horn, Puff (2), 2002. 3 c-print photos, 83,8 × 83,8 cm (each). Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan
The objects on display bring to light moments sometimes forgotten in the history of Torino which emphasise its fetishes and secrets. Their strength and symbolic power also lie in the interaction with contemporary works, many of which are site-specific productions created by artists expressly for “Shit and Die”. Shapes, spaces, figures and references are presented in a multifaceted complex setting that is at the same time coherent and strongly interconnected. The exhibition interweaves a relationship with the visitor that doesn’t follow a rule, but rather seeks to play with traditional exhibition conventions.
“Shit and Die” starts with a venue that is central to the history of Torino – Palazzo Cavour – to continue the itinerary through universal themes, from symbols tied to death and sensuality, and the paradoxes of power to the ideas of utopia, vanitas and memento mori. The city becomes an opportunity to dwell on fascinating personalities, places and anecdotes: from Porta Palazzo to the work of Aldo Mondino, the furnishings of Talponia, Nietzsche’s stay in Torino, the figure of Carlo Mollino and that of the Countess of Castiglione, important symbols such as the car and the factory, the historical richness of Camillo Benso, the Count of Cavour – the invisible but ever-present host – and on to the leading contemporary figures of Torino.
Shit and DIe
Maria Kriara. Untitled, 2014. Pencil on paper, 10 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the artist and CAN Christina Androulidaki gallery
More than 50 artists are featured in the exhibition, including established names and young emerging figures from the international art scene, such as: Lutz Bacher, Davide Balula, Will Benedict, Lynda Benglis, Guy Ben-Ner, Thomas Braida / Valerio Nicolai / Emiliano Troco / Aleksander Veliscek, Julius von Bismarck, Vittorio Brodmann, Valerio Carrubba, Contessa di Castiglione, George Condo, Martin Creed, Enzo Cucchi, Eric Doeringer, Tracey Emin, VALIE EXPORT, Lara Favaretto, Stelios Faitakis, Roberto Gabetti and Aimaro Oreglia d’Isola, Tim Gardner, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Petrit Halilaj, Jonathan Horowitz, Dorothy Iannone, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Chao Kao, Myriam Laplante, Zoe Leonard, Natalia LL, Sarah Lucas, Tala Madani, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Carlo Mollino, Aldo Mondino, Nicolas Party, Yan Pei-Ming, Florian Pugnaire and David Raffini, Carol Rama, Luigi Ruatti, Markus Schinwald, Jim Shaw, Dasha Shishkin, Roman Signer, Alexandre Singh, Sylvia Sleigh, Claire Tabouret, Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille, Andra Ursuta, Iris Van Dongen, Maurizio Vetrugno, Francesco Vezzoli, Aleksandra Waliszewska, Matthew Watson, and Jakub Julian Ziolkowski.
Shit and die
Left: Ahmed Mater, Talisman Illumination I, 2008. Gold Leaf, Tea, Pomegranate, Dupont Chinese ink & offset X-Ray film print on paper, 155 x 105 cm. Right: Darren Harvey-Regan, More or Less Obvious Forms, 2012. C-type print, 54 x 61 cm. Courtesy of Copperfield Gallery
At the invitation of the curatorial team, artist Yuri Ancarani created the documentary film Sèance in collaboration with Museo Casa Mollino. The film is conceived as the ideal continuation of the exhibition within Palazzo Cavour and investigates Carlo Mollino, the eclectic architect and designer from Torino and is immersed in the legendary occult side of the city.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book published by Damiani, that is not limited to illustrating the exhibition itinerary, but extends it like a missing room of the palazzo, enriching it with references, visual inspirations, and the contributions of artists, philosophers and writers.
The exhibition also has a dedicated tumblr blog, consisting of a mood board created by Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, assistant curator of the exhibition.

until January 11, 2014
Shit and Die
exhibition produced by Artissima
organised by: Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini
assistant curator: Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti
Palazzo Cavour

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