Super-Noi (Torino), 1996

Installation view: Other Than Yourself. An Investigation between Inner and Outer Space, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, 2008
Photo: Michael Strasser | TBA21

Black and white printing ink on 50 sheets of acetate
Each 29.7 x 21 cm

Maurizio Cattelan is known for his poignant and sometimes irreverent installations, which reflect upon the problematic nature of the relationship between art and life. 
Super-Noi  (Torino) consists of a series of portraits of Cattelan, drawn by a forensic sketch artist from the physical description given by a number of the artist’s friends and acquaintances. The result is a kaleidoscopic representation of a single individual, which highlights the subjectivity of perception. Using the talent of a professional whose work is supposed to precisely render the identity of criminals to track them down, Cattelan stresses the contradictory nature of such an endeavor. Furthermore, the work’s title references and demystifies the notion of the “superego”- a key concept of psychoanalysis- the part of the subject that internalizes moral rules and social restrictions. However, in place of a supposedly unified self, Cattelan offers a comically schizophrenic exposition of different interpretations of his identity.

*1960 in Padua, Italy | Living and working in New York, USA