Okay, so we have finished the Eva and Franco Mattes book. Some of you are doubtless very happy. Not that its any time to relax! We only have 2 weeks to finish curating! But some of you deserve a pat on the back for all the thinking and writing you have done about the Mattes and their art.
Now that I’ve really gone more in depth into some of Eva and Franco’s project, I see so many more reaccuring themes. I see a similar theme between Stolen Pieces, their website theft, and their Synthetic Performances. I see themes of reprocuction and a message about how we don’t enjoy art the correct way. We hold our opinions back instead of expressing and dealing with the art in an authentic way. We should act upon art, touch it, feel it, smash it, or take it with us. We should do whatever we want with it! We should express our feeling towards art in an untraditional way.
The Mattes art is about asking questions. Always ask questions, never get too comfortable. In our world, Eva and Franco want us to make sure that we think and challenge what is around us. “Flogging A Dead Horse” means challenging what one might think is dead or has no point (referring to beating a dead horse). Eva and Franco want us to reexamine what is around us even when we don’t know it’s there (it is almost their job to tell us it’s there). I like to consider myself as a person who thinks outside the box. But sometimes with Eva and Franco’s art, I don’t even perceive that there is a box. Maybe creating a box for us is what the Mattes art is all about.
“Anyways I guess all of our art is about being someone else.” -Mattes
What else is there to say about the duo? They want to change the world. They want to get people out of their defined worlds. Which is why they challenge all institutes that want to prevent us from doing this. Nike, for example, creates an image of what is beautiful by advertising with Athletes. I believe Eva and Franco made a good point when stating “Sometimes we must fool people in order to get a sincere reaction.” By fooling people they were catching people with their pants down. People will react how they would naturally act because they do not know they are being fooled. What they did was not morally wrong. People are just sensitive about taking credit for things. Read some Nietzsche. Then you will see why people get sensitive about things like that. Even Eva and Franco are exercising their will to power by making people think the way they want to even if it is outside of the norm. Humanity likes to preserve themselves with art.
When I first saw the image of the Nike Ground project before reading Eva and Franco Mattes, my first thought was what in the world?! Why would Nike make a desperate attempt of putting out their already famous company out there like that by building some random building at a random place? To add onto of seeing the image of the “Nike” building, but to see the idea of the Nike swoosh to be built on Karlsplatz just blew my mind, I would have been very offended if I was living around Vienna let alone actually believe that Nike would do such a thing. After reading this article, I realized this huge Nike swoosh was for Eva and Franco to make a statement and have people open their eyes and see how big corporations are trying to take over the world. I’ve always thought about how the media always tries to brainwash society by throwing advertisements and brands in our face. Even when we’re born we are already bombarded with advertising; I even heard Disney tried to make a deal with certain hospitals to use Disney branded items, such as blankets, decorations, etc. for newborns. For me it made it less offensive when I learned this Nike swoosh was “art” and was actually going against Nike itself because it comes to show how people will believe anything for a moment and how corporations literally run our lives.
The reading for this week really resulted in some mixed feelings towards Eva and Franco. Some of you thought they were awesome, some downright didn’t like it/get it, most didn’t know what to think. Although there were far too many “just-answer-the-questions-Glenn-gave-us-in-as-few-sentences-as-possible”, some of you went above and beyond the call of P4.
Here are the 5 9a-ers who achieved an 100 (or more) on 94:
once I read that Luther Blissett was just this fake name that Eva and Franco were using, I thought “Dang, who knew anyone could pull something like that off!” But then I read about Darko Maver… Eva and Franco created a fake artist. They created a fake artist with actual art EXHIBITS and he got so big, that he soon became the talk of the art world. Eva and Franco literally created an avatar in the real world. Then again, they came up with this idea during an LSD trip so I guess it kind of makes sense… But when they faked his media-covered death, they were completely lucid. It was at this point in the chapter that I started to better understand the controversy around their art.
With the identities of Luther and Darko uncovered, Eva and Franco made a huge statement. I think the goal of an artist is to give society questions to ask themselves. With these identities, Eva and Franco were doing just that. They were making statements on how society lives and how people switch identities constantly wherever they are. You can be a completely different person around your parents then you would be around your friends, your partners, your teachers. Eva and Franco were simply doing just that but instead they were being honest about it.
What awful, amazing, disgusting, brilliant people. I’m sure there have been plentiful amounts of artists since the beginning of whenever art became “art” that have taken what that “art” was and did something different with it, though they may not be in art history books. They were perverse with it, ending up riddled with ridicule or excommunication, or they were glorified and canonized. Eva and Franco Mattes were both ridiculed and canonized sometimes with the same projects and pieces, just furthering how different people’s opinions and perceptions are. The futurists of the early 20th century didn’t have the ability to mess with internet codes or use children’s pop-culture in disturbing ways to make a point, but the Mattes were born in the right time for them to make their own revolution.
Luther Blissett was a moniker they considered “multiple and therefore omnipotent.” He wasn’t real, nor was he a single person, but instead a collective of new radical artists, writers, musicians, and activists that had a fancy for disturbing common perception. Of course something like this would attract the Mattes. The main feature of using the Luther Blissett guise, which developed into an underground cult figure and persona, was to give opportunities to artists to expose the pitfalls and frailties of the media and how it influenced people’s reactions. A more focused direction was taken with the Mattes’ invention of Darko Maver, the name taken from real-life Slovenian criminologist. After reviewing images of bloodied bodies online during an LSD trip, the Mattes’ decided to use the confusion of what was technically real and illusion and create an artist that the media would sensationalize. He had a photo (their friend), a biography (written by a friend), and even pieces of poetry (also written by a colleague). They created mannequins and realistic sculptures of desecrated bodies, some of which eventually displayed in an art gallery. The people bought it and thought he was an actual person. The Mattes’ faked his death and the media reported it. Then, the reveal. 0100101110101101.ORG uncovered itself as Darko Maver. Nice.
The Nike Ground fiasco kind of resembles some of the issues brought up in the Bomb It documentary. For years our culture has been polluted and harshly infused with constant advertising everywhere. The themes of advertising are manipulative and coercive. Yet once someone tries to manipulate them or make a point about their corporation, the red flags go up and people get upset. It even goes back to the point of certain things being sacred and once someone desecrates it, it’s not pinned as art by most, but vandalism or other criminal acts.
My first impression of the book was not an expression I usually feel towards a book. I was shockedwhen I first looked at the cover of the book especially when there was Mickey Mouse on it and a veryscary looking plate of bones. Mickey was dressed nicely, almost to a waiter/bartender outfit so I wasguessing he was going to be serving that plate of bones, most likely to the reader of this book.
This first passage was actually quite difficult to understand.