Gucci and Maurizio Cattelan present Shanghai exhibition, The Artist is Present

A COLLABORATION between GUCCI’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele and artist Maurizio Cattelan will see a new exhibition open at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai on October 10.

The exhibition, The Artist is Present, will be created and curated by Cattelan, and will explore the way in which different concepts are conveyed through art.

Artist Marina Abramović, in a 2010 exhibition under the same title, sought to show how the artistic concept is more important than the medium with which it is conveyed.

Famous in the art world for being a joker, it will be interesting to see what Maurizio Cattelan produces in his interpretation of the same title.

GUCCI Maurizio Cattelan The Artist is Present

Like Abramović, Cattelan aims to reassess key artistic concepts in the exhibition, wishing to focus on challenging the perceived importance of originality in the art creation.

Discussing the topic of originality with ethnographer, Sarah Thornton, Cattelan explained, “Originality doesn’t exist by itself. It is an evolution of what is produced. Originality is about your capacity to add.”

The Artist is Present will display the work of over thirty international artists who celebrate the act of copying as an act of creation in itself. In a society where so many of us are constantly both consuming and producing our media, it is important to recognise simulation and reproduction as important and necessary aspects of today’s culture.

In such a world, copy does not need to mean counterfeit, but can in fact be an important tool for facing our contemporary society through emphasising that appreciation of a work relies on engagement with its ideas rather than the simple visual gratification of an individual artwork itself.

Cattelan explained that he believed that copying even adds its value to the original, saying that “Copying is like a blasphemy: it might seem not respectful towards God, but at the same time is the significative recognition of  (the original’s) existence.”

Gucci will promote the exhibition with its ArtWalls in Milan, New York, London and Hong Kong, unveiling a new ArtWall in Shanghai in the following weeks to further support the exhibition.

by Hannah Valentine

The Artist is Present will run from October 11 to December 16 2018 at the Yuz Museum Shanghai.

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