Peter Moosgaard

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Art of Gianni Motti

Filed under: Art Pranks

Submitted by Peter Moosgaard:

In 2006, Italian artist Gianni Motti presented a piece of soap, he claimed to be made out of Silvio Berlusconis body fat.

Gianni Motti’s “Mani Pulite”Motti claimed to have good contacts at the clinic where the former Italian Prime Minister had his cosmetic surgery. The removed body fat from his face is now a piece of art called Mani Pulite, which translates “clean hands”, a statement on Berlusconi’s assumed connections to corruption and the mafia. The soap was sold for 15,000 Euros to a private collector.

Other projects by Motti include staging his death and, with artist Christoph Buchel, exhibiting the U.S. rent for Guantanamo in form of uncashed checks, which Fidel Castro gave to him as a present.

Gianni MottiGuantanamo Initiative

From Art Cornwall site:

In response to the illegality of the U.S Government’s lease on the land at Guantanamo Bay, currently used as a U.S Naval base and penal colony, Christoph Buchel and Gianni Motti collaborate with La Biennale di Venezia to officially request a new lease from the Cuban government on said land. Further, the Guantanamo Initiative seeks to transform this contentious land from a military base into a cultural base.

In addition to displaying treaties and documents that expose the illegitimacy of the U.S. lease contract imposed on Cuba in 1903, the exhibition at the Arsenale presents 47 annual rent checks issued by the United States to the Cuban Government since 1959 – all of which the Republic of Cuba has refused to cash. The exhibition of uncashed U.S. treasury checks exists in anticipation of a museum that the Cuban Government plans to build for these cheques when the land at Guantanamo Bay is finally restored to Cuba.

Buchel and Motti July 2005

photo of Mani Pulite: Mark Vallen’s Art for a Change
photo of Gianni Motti:

Related Links:

  • Art in Review; Gianni Motti, New York Times, April 21, 2006
  • Gianni Motti Presentation, Cosmic Galerie
  • The Art & Design of Helmut Smits

    Filed under: Art Pranks

    Submitted by Peter Moosgaard:

    Netherlands artist Helmut Smits combines the tasiest of ideas with great wit and feeling for spaces. At the same time he cleverly tries to hack our perception of public life. Here is a small selection from his amazing work:

    Photo tip, 2004
    Photo tip, by Helmut Smits

    His installation Photo tip offers the visitor the possibility of posing as a hostage on CNN. It is only made from wood, print, sandbags and a chair. How simple great work can be.

    Another work consists of planting a tree in front of billboard. After some years the billboard should no longer be seen from the road. Only a (hopefully) fresh green tree.

    Tree in front of billboard, 2006
    Tree in front of billboard, by Helmut Smits


    Rapid Rot [English and German]

    Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, You Decide

    From Peter Moosgaard:

    The Germans have problems handling their dead. There are too many of them. Especially in Bavaria, cementaries are bursting with old mummies. The reason: the dead just won´t rot in time because of air-tight grounds, high quality coffins and too much groundwater.

    Now the Swiss company Mycoproducts offers starter-kits they call “Rapid Rot”, a fungus-kit that stunningly accelerates the disintegration process of coffin and corpse. English version.

    Rapid Rot

    Hase / Rabbit / Coniglio, by gelitin

    Filed under: Art Pranks

    Submitted by Peter Moosgaard:

    From the homepage of Austrian based art collective gelitin:

    The things one finds wandering in a landscape: familiar things and utterly unknown, like a flower one has never seen before, or, as Columbus discovered, an inexplicable continent; and then, behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy.

    Rabbit, by gelitin

    In Hase / Rabbit / Coniglio, gelitin placed a gigantic rabbit in the Italian Alps. The rabbit is so big, it can be seen from outer space and a human on its belly looks like a tiny black dot (check out the YouTube video). After almost 5 years of knitting, this pink rabbit suddenly appeared near the village of Cuneo in Italy in 2005 and is planned to stay there for the next 20 years.

    Related link:

  • gelitin is also known for the (true or not) balcony they supposedly built on the 148th floor of the World Trade Center in 2000.
  • Erwin Wurm, The Artist Who Swallowed the World

    Filed under: Art Pranks

    Submitted by Peter Moosgaard: Austrian artist Erwin Wurm makes fat cars, fat houses…

    Erwin Wurm, Fat Series

    and, for a 2007 exhibition, he mounted a house on the roof of Vienna’s Museum of Modern Art.

    Edwin Wurm, House Attack

    He became famous for his “One Minute Sculptures.” These sculptures seem improvised and funny, as they work with everyday objects like pens, bottles, fruit or blankets, often sticking out of peoples’ noses. Check out this wonderful video interview with the artist from the Submarine Channel:

    Here, also is the Red Hot Chili Peppers video Can’t Stop his work is said to have inspired: (more…)

    United We Stand, by Franco Mattes

    Filed under: Art Pranks

    Submitted by Peter Moosgaard:

    More from the archive of Franco and Eva Mattes, aka This work, United We Stand, dates back to December 2005.

    From the Web site:

    United We Stand Poster, Franco Mattes“United We Stand. Europe has a mission” is the punchy title of the non-existent, fully EU-produced Hollywood-style blockbuster: “A brilliant mix of espionage and sci-fi political stereotypes in which Europe, not the USA, saves the world from impending doom”. The project that consists in the invention and promotion of this nonexistent movie is hitting public and media space all over the world through city-scale urban installations and viral communication tactics.

    Postmasters Gallery in New York has been the first of a series of art venues to host the disclosed side of the United We Stand project. These exhibitions run parallel to the ongoing communication strategy. “We are working simultaneously on this double track, the fictional and the real,” explains Franco Mattes, “in this sense, spectators in the gallery who are aware of the multiple layers are passive voyeurs, while the unaware spectator, or passerby, is actually part of the artwork”.


    No News

    Filed under: Parody

    From Peter Moosgard – A video by Adam Buxton:

    Cloaca, by Wim Delvoye

    Filed under: Art Pranks, Satire

    Submitted by Peter Moosgard:

    Cloaca, named after the ancient Roman sewer Cloaca maximarom, is the work of artist Wim Delvoye, who also tatoos pigs.

    Cloaca, by Wim Delvoye

    View more images here. (more…)

    Fun Through World Domination

    Filed under: Parody

    Submitted by Peter Moosgaard:

    Dr. Steel is a quintessential evil scientist persona — a man of many talents with one simple goal: To make the world a better place. Through entertaiment, vision and passion, Dr. Steel feeds the hungry masses who starve for happiness.


    “I envision a world where the only obligation of the people
    is to have fun…” ~Dr. Steel

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