Can contemporary art eventually drive you insane…?

Blogging is a bit like waiting for buses, not much action for a while and then a whole bunch of stuff to write about at the same time.

Today I was in Milan’s Triennale exhibition venue to see the last phase of hanging for Ermenegildo Zegna’s centennial exhibition. I have worked with them on and off since 2004, so there is even a small corner for the museum/installations Habituszegna I helped design for them. Have lots of images to post but not till after the official opening on Monday. Scandal-wise rumour has it there was a gentleman’s agreement between E Z and Dolce and Gabbana (also celebrating an anniversary, 20 years i think) to separate their respective celebratory events by many months. Anyway apparently D and G totally reneged on the deal and suddenly their do is happening the night before E Z’s… Such is the cut throat world of Milan fashion….

Also found some time to visit the Trussardi Foundation’s annual exhibition. This year it is  Pig Island by Paul McCarthy.

Static (pink) by Paul McCarthy

His work was, as ever, subtle as a brick or as obvious as a sugar addicted child in a chocolate shop. I guess you love it or hate it…Whatever, some of the very recent work seems really dated but maybe some satire needs to be viewed conemporarily (is that a word?) to its subject or 50 years hence from a healthy and objective distance.

There was also lot of video installations on show.

These films were accompanied by the usual McCarthyesque sound track of a chorus of deliberately moronic grunts and screams… kind of like hell might sound like – if I believed in it. I looked at the nice polite neatly dressed milano boys and girls who volunteered to invigilate and wondered what it must be like to stand in a dim concrete basement for hours on end to a sound track of hell?…Will it eventually drive them insane? So I asked, apparently they do 2 and a half hour stints in that spot for 21 days and yes it is NOT easy and NO so far no one has gone crazy BUT they are thinking of coming in with ear plugs…

Pig Island by Paul McCarthy

So the art was ok(ish) but the space itself was phenomenal. Each year Trussardi install in a new location, this time is was in the basement of Palazzo Citterio, an 18th century building.

Paula Jones by Paul McCarthy

The basement was restructured in the late 70’s but left unfinished and that’s how we find it now, only slightly tidied up, a warren of concrete and brick with unexpected spaces within spaces and narrow corridors that lead into cavernous rooms. It is never a good sign when the space is more interesting than the art it is hosting…


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