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Interview 27-04-2005
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Interview: Aldo Giannotti

The italian artist Aldo Giannotti has come to Denmark to exhibit the art installation "Smile!" at the gallery Senko Studio in Viborg. Hans Henrik Jacobsen has made this interview by email with the artist.

By Hans Henrik Jacobsen, art critic at the newspaper Viborg Stifts Folkeblad.
Photo: Kurt Nielsen and Sergei Sviatchenko.

The exhibition "Smile!" is shown in the gallery Senko Studio from 23. april - 21. may 2005

Visite www.kforumvienna.com for more details.

Portrait af Aldo Giannotti, photo by Gianmaria Gava

Hans: How did you get into contact with Senko Studio and Sergei? And what made you decide to make an exhibition in Viborg?

Aldo: Sergei and I got in contact trough a common (artist) friend previously showing at Senko Studio. What was interesting about this collaboration was, that bough of us have affinities in ways of working not only as artists, but as curators, always working on mobility and cross border exchange of colleagues, promoting the artist’s work by giving support in organising exhibitions and site specific projects, as creating intercultural dialog.


Hans: You have studied in several countries and now live in Vienna, Austria. What is wrong with Italy? Why did you choose Austria?

Aldo: Five year ago when I left Italy the art situation was not so exiting and develop as can be now. The Academy’s where conservative and boring, the space left to experimental work was marginal and not really promoted. It was more or less in this context that I made up my idea to leave Italy and look for other inputs and challenges. I found them, as different as can be, at London and Munich.  Vienna, in the end, was a practical decision, considering the promising government support for culture, at that time. it seemed  a perfect basis for making concrete our plans of  opening an association for contemporary art and cultural contact.  

Senko Studio, view from the street

Hans: Please tell us about the activities in Kforumvienna?

Aldo: Kforumvienna is a non-profit organisation established in Vienna in 2001. Our mission is to promote the diffusion of contemporary visual art in the sense of an international exchange.It aims to create synergies between artists, art workers and institutions, in order to meet the needs of the artists in the process of conception and development of their artistic projects. With this in mind, Kforumvienna organises projects, which take place in various cities of Europe. In its endeavour to strengthen links and to promote exchanges between the Viennese art scene and that of other countries, with a special regard to middle and east Europe, Kforumvienna´s program aims in first place to involve emerging, international artists.


Hans: What does the smile mean to you? And why did you pick the smile as a theme for your exhibition in Senko Studio?

Aldo: My work often deals with analysing human desires, there necessity and the ways we perceive them. I’ve been reading texts about the difference of smiling and laughter and it was interesting to understand, that smiling is a body language, that we can manipulate situations with, while laugh is an instinctive reaction and emotional output. I got interested in the effect that smile- or let’s call it fake laugh- has on you, especially in the manipulative use as publicity.  With the work smile I tried to brig it to hype, in with you may not be able to stand this gesture anymore, but perceive it as a contrary, almost cannibalistic attack on your free decision taking.

Part of installation   Part of installation

Hans: Tell us why you decided to let balloons be part of the installation?

Aldo: Balloons and blown up diaphragms are a fascinating material. The balloon itself, to me, represents a symbol of lost ease of childhood and innocence. With “smile” I am giving these symbolic transmitters an almost theatrical role as figures in the scene. In the same time there fickle nature of the installation underlines the unsteadiness of implied needs and wishes. Apart of this, the thin skin of the material and its flexibility are a logic amplification of traditional screens, with much wider possibilities and appearances.


Hans: What is your future plans?

Aldo: In the next months I will participate in a overview-show of pneumatic forms. For the first time I am also developing a work for a screenplay with a video installation (I’m going around Italy in an astronaut suit!). Regarding Kforumvienna we are going on tour with the video archive VIDEOTHEKA, which can be seen, till beginning of 2006, at Munich (D),  Prato (I), Trnava (SK) and the Kunsthalle Wien.

Visite www.kforumvienna.com for more details.
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