Gianni MOTTI (1958)
Born in 1958 in Sondrio (Italy), Gianni Motti is a contemporary Swiss artist whose work, protean, cultivates a form of iconoclasm: drawings, installations, performances, actions, videos, photographs...
Mainly known for his interventions that express the contradictions of contemporary society, Gianni Motti's practice challenges authority by using the power of humour as a weapon to reveal the truth.
Gianni Motti defines himself as self-taught, for not having studied art. Developing a body of work directly linked to current events (social, political, economic, tectonic, etc.), Gianni Motti produces direct actions whose indirect consequences are works of art.
Among his interventions, we should note in particular:
In 1989, the staging of his own death.
In 1992, he claimed responsibility for the California earthquake.
In 1996, he presented himself as a candidate, from Switzerland, in the American presidential elections.
In 1997, he was invited to the 53rd session of the International Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. He ended up occupying the vacant seat of the Indonesian delegate. From there he spoke out in favour of cultural minorities.
In 1999, his participation in the Basel Fair took the form of a portrait of Abdullah Öcalan (Kurdish leader of the PKK, sentenced to death in Turkey), installed on the roof of the building. A flag of the PKK, classified as a terrorist organisation by several countries including Switzerland, replaces the Swiss flag.
In 2005 at ArtBasel, Gianni Motti presented a soap made from the liposuctioned fat of Silvio Berlusconi entitled Mani pulite (Clean hands), named after the anti-corruption operation that had agitated Italy in the 1990s.
And in 2009, in the gloomy climate of the economic crisis, he designed the Moneybox exhibition. Instead of using the money from the exhibition to create a play, he proposed to display it in the open. The sky of banknotes, suspended on wires by paper clips, created a bucolic atmosphere. The budget of the installation thus became a work of art.
During the same period, he also made exact replicas of one-dollar notes, but in painted bronze. With the idea that the collector buys money with money.
Gianni Motti has made several dollars, but they are all different and unique.The relief of the note and the serial number clearly mark the difference.
Motti made them from real notes in his pocket, but kept the real notes as proof.
According to Gianni Motti, what is money?
We don't know how it's made or where it really circulates. Bankers are like creators who create money out of nothing and lend it to us with interest.
To the point that it is almost conceptual art.
Gianni Motti's militant approach is based on discussion and questioning rather than productivity. He composes and revisits the devices of artistic work and value creation. His proposals are often simple but radical acts that disrupt the functioning of an art institution and thus the reception of the works exhibited.
One Dollar Serie
6.5 x 15.5 cm