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Michelangelo Corsaro at the cooker with three documented performances by Cesare Pietroiusti

Sunday 3 November, 14.00- 19.00

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The three videos presented here are the documentation of three works by Cesare Pietroiusti. In the first one, How to Irreversibly Transform Money (with Paul Griffiths), the artists experimented on physical, chemical, and biological ways to alter some banknotes "borrowed" from the public. The notes were then displayed in the Trafo gallery, Budapest, and eventually returned to the owner accompanied by an artist certificate. For the second work, Eating Money - An Auction (with Paul Griffiths), the artists announced an auction where participants could make offers corresponding to the sum of two euro banknotes, which are successively eaten by the artists. The successful bidder receives the banknotes, after they have been evacuated, together with a certificate. For the third work, Enriching Food, a restaurant is set up in the Ikon Gallery. Customers can eat as much as they can, as in a normal restaurant, but at the end of the meal, instead of a bill to pay, they receive the equivalent of the cost of what they ate in cash.

These three works were realized between 2004 and 2007. Those years were the highest point of vulnerability of a whole economic system approaching an irreversible collapse. Among the many deep wounds inflicted to everyday reality, the politico-economical events that characterized the following years produced an irreversible damage into the historical continuity between what we are and what we used to be. In other words: how to reconcile the civil identities that we formed in times of economical prosperity with current forms of life after five years of recession? The performances documented in these three videos pursue a research for alternative forms of exchange, on the edge between the production and the destruction of both value and commodities. Notions like irreversible transformation, determination of value, paradoxical exchange and communal living are threads that come both from the past and from a projection of the future. All these issues were and still are deeply connected to our bodies, and with the same bodies we investigate them, with a typical Mediterranean approach, intellectually, politically and gastronomically.


Cesare Pietroiusti is an Italian artist working and living in Rome. Graduated in Medicine with an essay in Psychiatry, his artistic practice originates from the investigation of paradoxical thoughts and actions that belong to the ordinary scenario of everyday life. Since the late 1970s he performed absurd actions like making himself available to do 'useful' things for anyone of the audience, selling his skills to collectors for an hourly wage, eating money and cooking for his public. His works have been presented in several solo shows (Ponesite jedno od 500 djela kuci, Galerija SIZ, Rijeka, Croatia, 2010; Artworks that Ideas can Buy, Wilkinson Gallery, London, UK, 2009; Regali e regole. Prendere, dare, sbirciare nel museo, MAMbo, Bologna, Italy, 2009) and he took part to countless group shows (La festa dei vivi (che riflettono sulla morte), organized for AND AND AND inside: dOCUMENTA (13), San Cesario, Italy, 2011; Declining Democracy, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Firenze, Italy, 2011; Sleepover, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK, 2010, Democracy1, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2000, Aperto '90, XXIV Venice Biennale, Italy, 1990).

Michelangelo Corsaro is a curator and writer currently working and living in Europe with no fixed address. In 2012 he graduated with an MA in Visual Arts from IUAV University, Venice, and participated to the 4th Gwangju International Curatorial Course. Among other projects he curated Bugchasing Ethnographica: a lecture by Clementine Deliss within Baton Sinister, curated by Bjarne Melgaard, as part of Norway’s Representation at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and the collective event A conversation with Darius Mikšys (Venice, 2011). Since april 2013 he has been guest curator at Kunsthalle Athena and part of the editorial team of South As a State of Mind.