Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
The work's title, TV Dinner, 2004, appears to be an example of Cannavacciuolo's ironic wit, which for me was lost in translation. But it must be a nod to the rapid, packaged ways we often nourish our senses and an indicator of the fact that in order to take in his installation we have to make a serious, lengthy effort. Though the work sometimes seems to verge on chaos, each layer and link was meticulously planned. Repeated patterns are used as backdrop--from Gardner's sprawling script to Islamic tile to William Morris wallpaper. One of the more beautiful images is that of an oversize steed, composed of countless continuous ornate swirls in a style dating from eighteenth-century Britain, galloping past architectural details from a Venetian palace, above a Shakespearean quote from Gardner's journals and a reproduction of a photogravure of jovial Harvard men.
Cannavacciuolo also likes to talk politics and tell morality tales, employing what he calls a "babylike attitude." Weapons and fashion figures populate a world where an image of the Capitolio in Havana, a US Capitol look-alike, has been placed next to a toy grenade. Creating a delicate fantasy web of transcultural pranks, patterns, and politics, Cannavacciuolo also re-creates the real-life experience of information overload with a critical and philosophical array that is difficult yet ultimately satisfying to navigate.
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|Author:||Miller, Francine Koslow|
|Date:||May 1, 2004|
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