|Maurizio Cattelan | hollywood landing in Sicily||
Palermo/Sicily, June 8, 2001
|A special project by Maurizio Cattelan for
the Venice Biennial, 2001
California is landing in Sicily.
A new HOLLYWOOD, is growing among palm trees, olive plantations and rubbish on the hills of Palermo.
HOLLYWOOD: 170 metres, nine giant letters, 23 metres high. A replica of the original sign in Hollywood.
A Cyclopean venture, which takes the American dream to the heart of Sicily, in Palermo. HOLLYWOOD is the latest project by Maurizio Cattelan.
Right above the rubbish tip of Palermo, HOLLYWOOD's profile stretches along the hill of Bellolampo: a collective hallucination and at the same time an immersion into the hardest reality of Italian culture. Both homage and parody, Maurizio Cattelan's HOLLYWOOD is the cross-fade of the world of movies and real life. A gaze on the mirage of celebrity.
"Hollywood by Maurizio Cattelan is both an act of courage and a fugue - a touching work of art", commented Harald Szeemann, Chief Curator, Department of Visual Arts - Venice Biennial. "Recreating the myth of Hollywood in Sicily, Cattelan displaces multiple meanings, through the use of few, gigantic letters".
For the first time in its history, the Venice Biennial supports a parallel event outside the boundaries of the city. Conceived as a satellite project, HOLLYWOOD by Maurizio Cattelan transforms Sicily and the city of Palermo into a set for a film in real time, mixing art, communication and urban legends.
"It's like spraying stardust over the Sicilian landscape: its a cut and paste dream" says Maurizio Cattelan. "I tried to overlap two opposite realities, Sicily and Hollywood: after all, images are just projections of desire, and I wanted to shade their boundaries. It might be a parody, but its also a tribute. Its like freezing the moment in which truth turns into hallucination. There is something hypnotic in Hollywood: its a sign that immediately speaks about obsessions, failures and ambitions. It is a magnet for contradictions."
HOLLYWOOD, the installation by Maurizio Cattelan above the city dump on Bellolampo hill in Palermo, was made possible thanks to the intervention and the support by the company AMIA - Insieme per lambiente, special business for waste recycling management.
PRIVATE VIEW IN PALERMO
HOLLYWOOD inaugurates on Friday, the 8th of June in Palermo.
Started in April, the construction of HOLLYWOOD will be completed the 5th of June and will be presented to the press for the Venice Biennial.
The Turin based Foundation Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, one of Italy's most active institutions promoting contemporary art, organised a special flight to take collectors, gallerists and journalists from Venice to Palermo.
The trip offers the unique opportunity to visit HOLLYWOOD together with a select audience, guided by Harald Szeemann, Chief Curator, Department of Visual Arts - Venice Biennial.
In conjunction with the project HOLLYWOOD, Maurizio Cattelan publishes "HOLLYWOOD: Dreams that Money can Buy": 320 pages that bring together pictures and tales from the world of cinema. Somewhere in between an artist's book and a roller-coaster ride on the peaks of the American dream, "HOLLYWOOD: Dreams that Money can Buy" is a mirror - sometimes faithful, sometimes distorted - of our obsession with images.
The catalogue is produced with the contribution of the Foundation Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin.
CATTELAN IN BIENNIAL
Four times invited to the Venice Biennial, Maurizio Cattelan emerged as one of the key figures of the international contemporary art scene. In 1993, for his first participation to the Biennial, Cattelan rented his space to an advertising agency, writing a wry comment on the dangerous liaisons that tie art and mass communication. In 1997 Maurizio Cattelan exhibited in the Italian Pavillion together with Enzo Cucchi and Ettore Spalletti, invited by Germano Celant to respectively represent the future, the present and the past of Italian art. In 1999 he was invited by Harald Szeemann in the section "Aperto", where he showed a living sculpture, a fakir buried underground, functioning both as a twisted religious icon, and an attack against the mechanisms that turn contemporary art into a cynical spectacle.
With HOLLYWOOD the stakes are even higher: Cattelan engages a whole city into a social sculpture, which turns the citizens of Palermo into actors and extras of a surrealist film. A new geography of the imaginary.
maurizio cattelan special