Sunday, April 01, 2007

Art Space Talk: Aldo Giannotti

I recently interviewed artist Aldo Giannotti. Mr. Giannotti lives and works in Vienna, Italy. Aldo is represented by NT Art gallery. His work has been exhibited at the DIVA Digital & Video Art Fair (twice), the Vienna Biennial, and several other exhibitions. I'd like to personally thank Nadia Toffaloni for her help in translating this interview.

Mr. Giannotti attempts to translate the oneiric and symbolic imagery of the human psyche while keeping in mind the continuous evolution of the communication society to which the imagery is subjected. This is the basis of Mr. Giannotti's artistic research.

Q. You are represented by NT Art gallery. How has that experience been for you? What is the website for the gallery?

A. "Until now our collaboration has been great. We watch each other grow. The website is ."

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "I think everything started with my teacher in the elementary school using one of my drawings in order to explain the prospective to my whole class. I remember being quite proud of it and realizing the potential of this ability."

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "I believe that good art is always influenced by our environment and contains references to our "social experience", even if it is not so evident sometimes. This is also my case, except for the fact that until now I wouldn’t call my art good, but necessary (for me of course)."

Q. On average, how long does it take you to create a piece?

A. "It depends, sometimes it takes me 3 minutes to create the work in my head, and then 3 months to realize it, but there are no timelines, every time is a new experience."

Q. Can you share some of your philosophy about art and artistic creation?

A. "It probably would be cooler to quote some post-modern philosopher but there is this sentence by Picasso that always stuck in my head for both its simplicity and complexity: "Everything you can imagine is real." My attempt and relation with art is nothing more then the realisation of this sentence. Art is the perfect synthesis of this potential."

Q. Has your art ever been published?

A. "In the last few years my shows were usually accompanied by a publication. We are also planning a very nice catalogue for the exhibition in fall."

Q. What was your most important exhibition? Would you like to share that experience?

A. "Always the next one."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "I have a wood heater in my studio, so every time before working I cut the wood and make a fire. This is the closest thing I have to a ritual, and it also helps putting me in the right mood…"

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "Very intelligent, endowed wit good taste and a business sense."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?

A. "Well, let’s pick the last work I presented at the nt art gallery. Together with my artist mate Stefano Giuriati, dressed as two real Italian carabinieri (images above and below), we performed for ten days in the streets of Munich as if it would be part of our jurisdiction, raising questions like: What are the borders defined by? What is tolerated within them? Which identities (national, cultural, social, religious) should be enclosed and sheltered? Which are the decisive limits and criteria determining who and what can cross those edges? Playing with these topics on the border between legality and illegality was a new thing for us, quite exciting I must say. Back in Italy for the show in Bologna we crashed the carabinieri car in front of the nt art gallery, so for answering your question "What were you thinking when you created it?" the answer is simple: I was thinking that we would end up in jail with this project. Fortunately it hasn’t happened… until now."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend an art school ? If you do have a degree, how did it help you as an artist? What can you tell us about the art school that you attended?

A. "I studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara (Italy), a place of dust and stones. After a few years I left Italy and went to study first in London and then Munich. Later I moved to Vienna where I still live and work. I finally got back to Carrara many years later, just for the final degree exam. So I guess I can say my school was a mobile structure that I was carrying around in my head, and I guess my influence reflects also this path."

Q. Why did you choose the media that you use?

A. "I am generally not restricted to any medium in particular, I love to change and challenge myself with new forms of expression. I believe media are only the outside shell for presenting ideas."

Q. Where can we see more of your art?

A. "End of April the stazione mobile dei carabinieri is moving to Berlin (gallery artmbassy) with the group show "Appropriazione indebita" and after that the 2 carabinieri will cross the borders of Belgium. At the moment my videos can be seen in the videoarchive VIDEOTHEKA of the Kforumvienna and in the one of the Kunsthalle Wien. In June I will be at the Venice Biennale with the performing company Liquidloft, taking care of the visual concept, after that again in Zagreb building my first real scale Kunsthalle. Last but not least, we are planning a solo show at the nt art gallery for September/October."
Web references:

Q. What trends do you see in the 'art world'?

A. "The theory of chaos applied to aesthetics."

Q. Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?

A. "A curator once chose a work of mine that had a real dog in it for an exibition space. The day of the opening, the dog and me arrived at the show only to discover that somebody from the upper floors didn¥t like the idea of having a real dog in the space. They even asked me to put only a picture of the dog, you know, like a bad Kosuth... this exhibition place doesn’t exist anymore... the dog is fine and healthy."

Q. In a word, why do you create art?

A. "Because it feels like the natural thing to do, thank god it’s also a job, if it wasn’t I would be starving."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "Vienna, and Austria in general, is a very dynamic place to live and to experience art, people are open to relate with new languages. I’m quite happy with the decision of making Vienna my home at the moment."

Q. Has politics ever influenced your art?

A. "Only from the backdoor."

Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?

A. "They play a part when I forget not to think about it... which is often."

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "All the best …"
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Aldo Giannotti. Feel free to critique or discuss his work.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

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