SO CALL ME SOLENNE CRETINO
(So Call me Solemn Idiot project)
A tribute to Sophie Calle
The project is a tribute to the French artist, Sophie Calle. Take care of yourself is the title of the workpresented by the artist at the last Biennial in Venice. 107 women were asked to play out, comment on,live, and make a harsh email ending a relationship their own. The “actors” played the part in front of afixed video camera. The resulting work saw an installation in which 107 videos were shown in tens of television screens filling one wall; one of the most significant works of the Biennial.
In an ironic tone, the artistic work of the French lady is reworded and various subjects are asked to playout a single text, chosen by them, in front of a fixed video camera. The text retraces the period fromDecember to July 2007, the period of time in which the Palermitan artist, Luca Lo Coco, created thetroublesome Net Art web site, www.ashartonline.com, and in which that platform was wiped out by thedirector of Flash Art, G. Politi. The internet site criticised the current Italian art system, a popular subjectin the Milanese magazine. An enormous and colossal contradiction: a director of a contemporary artmagazine that asks for and achieves the black out of a work of art. So the twenty-three-year-old artist(from whom €200,000 of damages has been requested and on whom criminal charges are also currentlybearing down) is turning to other specialist art magazines, asking for the publication of an article aboutthis issue.
The director of Exibart, M. Tonelli, is quick to respond to the artist’s press release: he defines Lo Coco asa “solemn idiot – solenne cretino (ita)” and adds that he has no intention of publishing anything that canadvertise the “dying milanese magazine”.
So Call Me solenne Cretino (On) and (Off)
And that is the explanation of the title of my new idea. The project is split in two: one version ON andone OFF. So Call me Solemn Cretino (ON), plans the participation of those who are explicitly invited bythe artist: in this way there will be different videos in which the subjects are filmed directly by the"Solemn Idiot", or anyway they are known and contacted by him.
An Art Project for All
The more ambitious part (and in some ways more important) is the So Call me Solemn Cretino (OFF), inwhich whoever wants to take part, can do so. Dancers, singers, artists, actors, housewives, footballers,musicians, students, workers… can show their own particular skill in a free interpretation of the proposedtext. They will only need to arm themselves with a video camera and creativity. They can perform thetext either all in one go or in parts, it will be possible to read the text as the video goes on (advised), ordirectly perform it (for example, a drummer who wants to play out the text, won’t necessarily need toread it, he could also perform it musically). The video can be in colour or black and white, with or withoutaudio, with or without background music: it all depends on your creativity.Once the video is finished, you simply have to send the video link on You Tube to email@example.com. If you don’t want to use your own name on Youtube, you will just have to send a CD of the video to the