You think it’s easy being the boss? – Tony Soprano
Maze of Quotes by Toilet Paper has transformed The Fondation Beyeler stand at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2016. The collaborative magazine project by artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari has taken over Fondation Beyeler’s entire exhibition space into three distinct settings. Elaborately wallpapered and fully furnished, Maze of Quotes presents a lavish, fantastical environment of consumerism and sexuality, from chandeliers and toilets to gold drapes and tin pots.
After the successful ‘Super Ball’ Gala in Basel, Switzerland, this summer, directed and staged by Toilet Paper aka Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari the Guerrilla Boys of the art world, the Fondation Beyeler was so happy to be abused by this undercover organization that it commissioned a new project by them for Art Basel in Miami Beach. Like with stroboscopic lights, a warning sign should be placed in front of it. In fact Cattelan and Ferrari have created a beautiful hallucination that will defeat any electoral hangover or post-presidential gloom. Reversing the menacing sentence affixed on top of the door in Dante’s Inferno “Abandon all hope – You Who Enter Here,” on top of the door of the Beyeler’s space we could imagine to read “Any lost hope you will find it here.”
The installation is the lost-and-found counter of imagination where black and white and minimalism have been banned for good. Consumerism, seduction, sexuality are having a ball and you will have it too, as long as you will let loose all of your formal infrastructures and repressed desires. Since their unlikely collaboration Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari have been two more or less normal people. One as an artist locked on the success track, the other as an experienced fashion photographer in great demand. Under the hat of Toilet Paper they both forgo the stability of their roles to embark in the creation of an utterly new grammar thinner than Warhol’s already thin surface. All of their production is a spin-off of Toilet Paper, which has been transformed into a kite pulled by the most strong wind of coolness. Even the much-talked about gold toilet “America,” Cattelan’s scary anticipation of Trump’s advent installed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, is the result of Toilet Paper’s relentless thinking tank that these two artists have put in motion and that now seem incapable of stopping. Unconsciously quoting feminist artists from the 70’s such Martha Rosler or Sandy Skoglund, Cattelan and Ferrari succeed in exposing the vaporized political and social zeitgeist of today, grounding the project and transforming it in a subtle commentary of the condition of our present. With their pseudo-surreal attitude they bring to mind one of many of John Cage’s aphorisms: “Going to the North Pole? Then take Miró with you. ‘It seems to me I‘ve known you all my life.’ The war. Unknown painting. A night spent in laughter: omelet that fell on the floor.” Meaning? Ask Toilet Paper. That’s how they go about life.