death by paper cut

{October 16, 2007}   what readings are made of

HUO (Interviewer): James Lee Byars created a World Question Centre in which he asked a lot of people to ask questions. Even the Dali Lama wrote one and lots of other people. Cedric Price’s question was: How can we make failures? So tell me more about failures.

Maurizio Cattelan (Artist): I have been a failure for most of my life. I couldn’t keep a job for more than two months. I couldn’t study: school was a torture. And as long as I had to respect rules I was a disaster. Initially art was just a way to try a new set of rules. But I was very afraid of failure in art as well. I even wanted to start a university of failure, a way to teach failure. Maybe it was just a way to insinuate weakness in a system that is obsessed with success.

HUO: How was the university supposed to work?

MC: I don’t know. It never really started. It was a failure in that sense, from the very beginning. But there was the Oblomov Foundation, which in a way was an institution to teach failure.

HUO: What was it exactly?

MC It was a scholarship. The point was to get money from different donors and trustees and give it to an artist who would accept not to exhibit for a whole year. So you would get the money, but you had to disappear from the art world.

HUO: How many times was it awarded?

MC: Actually it was never awarded, because we couldn’t find an artist who wanted to accept the grant. It was a dangerous deal: we were giving money to an artist, so that he or she could fail. In the end, the story says I kept the money. Well, I didnt keep it: I used it.

HUO: What did you make with it?

MC: I don’t remember. Maybe I bought lollypops, or opened an orphanage…

read the full interview at 

this is a glimpse of what my course is about. maurizio cattelan is either a brilliant genius or a faker, or a brilliant genius pretending to be a faker or vice versa. personally, i think he knows what he is doing. he puts on the display the most outrageous and unthinkable art in galleries and exhibitions. i like this one, though its quite a conservative work.

i’m going to miss gathering in tutorial groups discussing who’s who in the art world. the exposure i get in melbourne is incomparable.


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