"My art form is communication"
Marco Evaristti’s art focuses on major, current subjects – and on subjects he finds are widely suppressed in our society. His works are performance art − confrontational, in the avant garde tradition. His intention is to transform people’s lives through his artistic practice. This means that the activity / performance connected to his work is often an intrinsic part of the work itself. It was the case when Evaristti climbed Mont Blanc as part of The Mont Rouge Project, 2007 ... when he – a Jew – became the blood brother of a Muslim by sharing blood in Goodbye Kiss, 2003 ... when he created paintings from heroine with addicts in Vesterbro in Copenhagen in Super Heroes, 2003 ... when he visited prisoner no. 000800 on death row in Texas in Five2Twelve, 2007-2008, ... etc.
The human body is in every way one of Evaristti’s main materials. He constantly draws attention to his own body – or to the bodies of others, including museum visitors’ bodies. For example, he himself had liposuction performed in Polpette al Grasso di Marco, 2006 ... offered visitors the opportunity to put one of their kidneys up for sale in Life Auction, 2012 ... and used the gold teeth of Jews from Auschwitz in Rolexgate, 2006.
Evaristti’s themes are often religious strife and inequality. Subjects that in our daytoday lives we perhaps tend to repress and suppress. He confronts us not only with the essential questions of our time, but also with our own personal reaction – or lack thereof – to them.
Evaristti takes the view that many of us spend our lives being voyeuristic moralists, usually focusing on petty problems. Evaristti sees the fact that his work involving veiltail goldfish in food blenders (Helena & El Pescador) at Trapholt in 2000 could lead to a major court case as an almost surreal symbol of the victory of this voyeuristic moral stance in our society. Instead Evaristti wants us to do battle with really major, global ethical dilemmas, such as: Why have the world’s major religions always fought each other? How can “life” be more or less valuable?
What solutions can we come up with? Evaristti wants to hold up a mirror to us and make us reconsider our stance on the subjects with which he presents us. In 2013 Marco Evaristti will turn 50, and in that connection Trapholt will put on a retrospective exhibition of a number of his most significant art projects. This book is published in connection with the exhibition, and the presentation of works of art is, as is the exhibition, organized in relation to a number of the overarching themes which Evaristti returns to again and again in this art. It is, however, important to keep in mind that Evaristti's works of art are most frequently multifaceted and spread over several of the themes at the same time.
The Conflict theme deals with the battle between religions. Evaristti juxtaposes various religions, confronting them with each other in situations where blood, hair, a kiss, and death are topics that both separate and unite them. With his Pink State Evaristti offers us Utopia where he invites us to enter a mindset based on respect for ourselves, for others and for nature. In Human Rights he invites us to ponder how it can be that a civilised country such as the USA − with which we in Denmark often identify – systematically kills murderers who have ended up on death row. What mechanisms does “the system” avail itself of to legitimise this? With his Body theme Evaristti very literally deals with bodies and our thoughts on whether our body is our personal subject or whether it is really basically an object that can be traded. Perhaps we cynically consider ourselves and our nearest and dearest subjects and everybody else objects?