The Dream of the Italians (detail)


Guatemala - Biennale Arte 2015

Guatemala - Biennale Arte 2015
Venice, Italy

Garullo & Eight hundred exhibiting at the Venice Biennale also the work that made them famous, namely "The dream of the Italians" (2010-2011). The reaction of shock that it can trigger a public impolite to the disruptive nature of contemporary art and the undeniable symbolic strength that transmits itself, justifies the echo that this work has been in the press and in the media. The installation is the former Premier Silvio Berlusconi lying in a glass case as an old pope or a saint. The masterful use of materials (silicone rubber, cloth, glass, organic hair, wood, paper and metals) returns an image of incredible verisimilitude, in the manner of Duane Hanson and Ron Mueck. This work shares with "The shameful act", other artistic achievement that will be explained in the course of the essay, the large amount of symbolic references, starting with the title, which refers to one of the ways in which Berlusconi appeared to ladies ( "I am the dream of Italians") and some of his public speeches, like the one following the election victory of '94 ("I, like others before me, I had a dream"). Also this time the interpretation of the work of nineteenth century Garullo & accompanies the study of literature devoted to the subject, based on the book "The body of the head", in which Marco Belpoliti identified Berlusconi as "the Warhol politicians", therefore the subject perfect for a portrait. And it is his portrait one of the most important elements of the installation: the face of the protagonist, bent to the left, hidden at first glance a dreamy smile. This smile, if connected with the sense of sacredness and of death issued by the casket, produces in the observer an effect of disorientation.
Start to feel it the ambiguity of an image that is perceived as inert
off, but instead still it presents signs of vitality. The dress broken, loosened tie, unbuttoned his shirt and pants help fuel the impression that the figure is immersed in a deep sleep, waiting to be awakened as the Snow White fairy tale. The reference to the childish world, on the other hand, is carried by the slippers in the shape of Mickey Mouse (now the emblem of the two artists); footwear in fact refer to the image and playful giullaresca Berlusconi and contrast with the solemnity of the showcase. The right hand of the Knight is laid on the brochure that sent millions of Italians to learn about its history as a man and politician, while his left hand rests near the pubis. If, therefore, the right part of the body (the one most visible to the viewer) is the official image of the politician, the left speaks dell'ostentata sexual voracity and scandals involving humans.
The work of Garullo & nineteenth century is, in fact, first of all, a survey on the body of Berlusconi, conceived as a kind of icon strongly imbued with symbolism.
The body of the former Premier is analyzed in the light of the cult of personality that surrounded him, as an icon of power and as a symbol of a certain kind of Italian.
The case of the two artists then gives us the image of a "holy postmodern", divided between a public person mystical, almost as "kings miracle worker" and a reality human.
The interpretation of the Commissioner of the Pavilion, Dr. Daniel Tedeschi Radini- contextualizes the work today. Exposed to the public in 2015, in fact,
theca Berlusconi takes on the meaning, in the words of the Commissioner, of "simulacrum victim of the new" power fer ". Berlusconi now becomes perceptible through its fragility and its desire to dream. "


  • Title: The Dream of the Italians (detail)
  • Creator: Garullo&Ottocento
  • Date Created: 2010, 2011
  • Physical Dimensions: 185x80x70 cm
  • Type: Installation
  • Medium: Silicone rubber, cloth, wood, glass

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