Real Time Subconscious: Franco Vaccari, The Artist Without Works and Gino De Dominicis.

Patricia Vera, Talía Romero & Mari Carmen Villoslada, at their desks with heating lamp, October 7.

Winter has come to Venice. When it was still summer, one day a visitor approached the young man performing “Instant Narrative” and gave him, as a present, an A3 white board with the words: “in realtà è il pubblico a esporsi all’opera, non l’opera al pubblico! – Gino De Dominicis” (Actually, it is the audience that is exposed to the art, and not the art to the audience!”)

So we kept that in mind but took the whiteboard backstage (behind the desks you see in the image above), since it was slightly too big and not really pretty.

So time went by and winter came, and one rainy and cold day the very warm and gentle artist Franco Vaccari came to have a conversation; he is very close, or rather, The Inadequate feels very close to him because he “invented” two fundamental concepts for this project: “exhibition in real time” and “technological subconscious”. “Real Time Subconscious” would be a very appropriate way to describe The Inadequate.

However interesting and gripping this conversation was, he completely stole our hearts with a story about, Gino De Dominicis!

We were discussing about Vaccari’s milestone work “Leave a photographic trace of your passage on these walls“, exhibited in Venice Biennale 1972; he placed an automatic photo booth at the corner of an otherwise empty exhibition room, took the strip of pictures of himself, placed it on the wall, and then left the work to be realized by the visitors of the exhibition, with the only instruction placed on the wall: Leave a photographic trace of your passage on these walls. More than 6000 people had their pictures taken and hanged it on the wall, having to pay for them the same amount of money as in any other public photo booth.

How did you choose the room? I asked. And then he came up with this wonderful story. “At that time artists could choose their exhibition rooms and normally they had one room per artist, where they could present whatever they wanted. I took a big risk because I had no guarantee whatsoever that anyone would take their picture and leave it there. So when I went to choose my room I just said “I want to have a room as far as possible from the room chosen by De Dominicis” “Why?” “Because I knew he would create a scandal, and my work was too fragile to be next to a scandal” “What was the scandal about?” “He presented the work “Seconda soluzione di immortalità. (L’universo è immobile)” (Second solution to immortality. The universe is immobile). The work was made of an invisible cube, a gummy ball, a stone and a person sitting on a chair. For the person sitting on a chair, De Dominicis had asked his assistant to go into the streets of Venice and find an adult with a child’s face. The assistant went and came back with a young man with down syndrome, someone who lived nearby and who accepted the job. But the truth is that there was someone with down syndrome being exhibited at the Venice Biennale, holding a sign saying: “Seconda soluzione di immortalità. (L’universo è immobile)” “And this created the scandal.” “Yes, this created the scandal. De Dominicis was very confused by it, because even if he had previewed some stir, the dimensions of it took him by surprise. So he told me “They insult me because I am exhibiting a mongoloid. But I am exhibiting a laborer”. Then I told him, he should better not mention that if he did not want to make things worse.”

This is how De Dominicis words are originally recorded:

“Intanto è sbagliato nominare una persona con il nome della sua malattia, è come chiamare qualcuno che ha l’influenza ‘il raffreddato’…” Si, ma può dirmi il significato di quell’opera? “Non si può spiegare a parole, quando sarà esposta di nuovo la vedrà.” Ma come spiega lo scandalo mondiale? “Forse si sono scandalizzati, perché non hanno capito che in realtà è il pubblico a esporsi all’opera, non l’opera al pubblico!”

“It is wrong to name a person with the name of the disease he has, is like calling someone “the influenza man”…” “Yes, but can you tell me the meaning of that work?” “I cannot tell you in words, you will see it next time it is exhibited.” “But how do you explain the worldwide scandal?” “Of course they are scandalized, because they did not understand that actually it is the audience that is exposed to the artwork, not the artwork to the audience!”


0 Responses to “Real Time Subconscious: Franco Vaccari, The Artist Without Works and Gino De Dominicis.”

Comments are currently closed.