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11 Sep 2010

Gianni Motti at D+T Project, Brussels

Copyright Gianni Motti, 2010

Gianni Motti
BELGIUM LANDING 02.09.10 07:55 am
D+T Project


11 September - 30 October 2010 Open from Thursday to Saturday from noon to 6.30pm

Sebastien Delire | Gregory Thirion
+32 2 537 76 30

D+T Project
Rue Bosquet 4
1060 Brussels

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For its opening, D+T PROJECT Art Gallery presents Italian artist Gianni Motti for his very first exhibition in Belgium.

Motti was born in 1958 and is internationally renowned for his spectacular work, which aims to subvert reality by injecting it with some form of interference or disruption.

Motti, demonstrating the basic principle that an artist is an individual that defines himself as such, uses and manipulates daily ordinary events as his creative raw materials.

It initially seems as though his interventions in the public sphere (whether 'literally' or via the media) are dictated by his unlimited imagination. But connections quickly appear and they reveal a more activist aspect of his work, above and beyond his acute and sometimes scathing sense of humour.

In 2005, by exhibiting a young man, a broker, dressed up in a suit, as if freshly picked from La City or Wall Street- in a cage at the arts fair in Bâle, Switzerland, he anticipates the public's outrage towards the financiers during the economic crisis of 2008, but also highlights the existing collusion between the Art Trade and the World of Finances.

This irony towards the arts can also be found in his retrospective exhibition, which was organised in 2004 at the Migros Museum in Zurich. A tour guide would take visitors through an immense empty and blank passage created with hundreds of meters of wood paneling, recounting actions and works done by Motti throughout his career.

His work becomes political when he pretends to be the Indonesian delegate at a UN Human Rights session in Geneva, or when he defends his candidacy for the 1996 presidential elections in the United States, during a US embassy election night event.
In the same spirit, he urges the Kurdish community of Paris to demonstrate in front of the Tokyo Palace during the opening cere-mony of the Hardcore exhibition in which he takes part.
The next day, the event is on the front page of the main local Kurdish newspaper. This illustrates Gianni's capacity to play the media, just like in 2000, when, during an entire week, he managed to appear unexpectedly in several news pictures of a local newspaper in Lucerne, Switzerland, thus 'inviting' himself in the local news.

He also claimed responsibility for several natural disasters such as earthquakes and solar eclipses and for catastrophes like the explosion of the Challenger spaceship in 1986- the kind of claim which would undoubtedly have caused him some serious trouble after September 11th 2001.
Here again, his artistic moves are not without meaning- they try to make sense of something that has none; they aim to explain the inexplicable. Art as a means to understand the world?

The piece exposed at D+T PROJECT (and produced by the art gallery) combines these various perspectives, and belongs to a series of sculptures made by Motti in the last few years, which include a memorial for Guantanamo Bay inmates, a digital solar clock counting down the 5 billion years separating the sun from its explosion, etc.
First Step in Belgium immortalizes the actual first step Motti made in Belgium. Upon his landing at the airport, and just as he was about to step onto Belgian soil, his foot was molded and then cast in bronze.

First Step in Belgium opens itself to several interpretations: political, when he discovers a land on the verge of imploding, that somehow houses the European capital but seems incapable of maintaining its government; economical, when the artist transforms an ephemeral event into bronze, made in 3 copies; and finally personal, because this really is Gianni's first trip to Belgium although he is a constant traveler (one of his work involved sending his student-assistant to travel all across the world).
The country though is not a complete unknown to him: 'when I was a kid, in my village, I could hear about Belgium and its carbon mines, and the accidents that occurred in those mines...'
Beyond its humorous dimension, First Step in Belgium is a piece that is closely linked to its creator's life.