Me — Giovanni Morbin
25 june – 25 july 2015
performance and opening u 8pm
„…suddenly, it became normal once again to be right-wing oriented, flirting unequivocally with fascism. It was like hearing the common cliché:„ …well! After all, they were all fascists at a certain point…,“ the phrase which would kindly tend to normalize a historically aberrant behaviour.
I decided that I wanted to be a fascist as well.
A neutral and empty room. There’s a copy of: „Continuous profile of Mussolini“ (Renato Bertelli, 1933) next to me, on a slender pedestal. I’m sitting in the middle of the room, surrounded by the audience.
I declaim the „Declaration of War“ by Mussolini, by moving the round school chair I’m sitting on as if adjusting the right height and after a few seconds of rotation, I try to get up. Inevitably, I fall down, I get up, I go back to sitting down and start the speech again. The action is stubbornly repeated seven times, like trying to say that I want to achieve something…
…the collective unconscious, the fascist „ego“ that was lying dormant in every Italian, now is emerging again!!!“
5th February 2010 – Rome, Swiss Institute, curated by: C. Pietroiusti and M. R. Sossai
29th October 2010 – Verona, Gallery Artericambi
21st February 2011 – Milan, Artoteca
25. June 2015 – Rijeka, SIZ Gallery
Giovanni Morbin is a Post-Conceptual artist who makes references to the Italian and world avant-garde and a historically engaged art through performing and visual media by using a visual metalanguage as a means of criticism and political commentary on contemporary society. His formal and clear communication is uncompromising and Morbin is an artist who is performing a debate about the position, role and responsability of the artist in a society of questionable values, in the absence of a political and class consciousness. In the fourth, Rijeka’s edition of the performance Me, the artist is warning us of the dangers and disastrous consequences which the right-wing political options create in the society through the illusionistic service to the global capital. They do it by flirting with historical fascism and nacism as well as with an alarmingly wide spectrum of its new copies and revisions. The context of Fiume (Italian name for the city of Rijeka) is chosen by Morbin for the penultimate edition of the performance, due to the significance of the city of Rijeka to the history of the Italian Republic, as a place where proto-fascist praxis of Gabriele D’Annunzio was generated from the constitution of the state Reggenza Italiana del Carnaro, which according to historians represents the phenomenon of the first fascist state in Europe.
Now that the neo-Fascist ideologies and practices are widely and globally being spread in all of their concealed anthropological and cultural, legislative and democratic and explicit political-military forms in Europe and with a developing enthusiasm in the local Croatian contex, we consider of the utmost importance to present the engagement of Giovanni Morbin right on the occasion of the Croatian National Day within the framework of SIZ Gallery programs, to point out the necessity of the international struggle against all forms of fascism.
Giovanni Morbin (Vicenza, Italy, 1956) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice in the class of Professor Emilio Vedova. After his first performance, he has focused his research on behaviour and performance and deals with objects that can serve as functional tools. His works and performances have been exhibited in the following museums and galleries: MMSU, Rijeka (2014), Museum Marino Marini, Florence (2014), Centrale Fies – Ambienti per la produzione di Performing Arts, Trento (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce, Genoa (2013), Museum MaGa, Gallarate (2011), Artericambi, Verona (2010), Gregor Podnar Gallery, Ljubljana (2010), Swiss Institute, Rome (2010), MART, Rovereto (2010), ViaFarini, Milan (2009).
1 Speech, 10th June 1940, Rome, Venice Square
2 The chair is spinning thanks to the hidden electric motor in the pedestal and is initiated manually.