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