[G]ucci, who in recent times have faced multiple accusations of plagiarism, is to collaborate with artist, iconoclast and Toiletpaper magazine founder Maurizio Cattelan later this year for an exhibition all about copying. The show – The Artist is Present – even has its title borrowed from Marina Abramovic’s seminal 2010 performance at the Museum of Modern Art.
Gucci’s The Artist is Present will take place in Shanghai later this year and is intended to explore how originality can be reached through repetition and how original artifacts (whether works of art or designer handbags) can be preserved through copies. The exhibition is surely a comment on our fashion times, in which Houses are selling ‘bootleg’ versions of their own products and plagiarism is a hot topic thanks to artists and designers who are empowered to speak out against copycat big brands on social media.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele shares a unique view on originality with Cattelan, who has previously declared it an “outdated concept.” Thusly, a Gucci press release describes The Artist is Present as “an act of appropriation… where the core values that used to identify with an artwork in the Western world, such as originality, intention, expression, and authorship, are dismantled.’
Some may argue that Michele did not require this exhibition to show his disregard for the concept of authorship. Others will delight in what promises to be a formidable artistic partnership and an intriguing, vibrant spectacle.
Watch Yuri Ancarani’s promotional film below.