Premio Alinovi-Daolio – Maurizio Cattelan sends comic duo to collect his prize

25 OCT 2013 – The award ceremony for Premio Alinovi-Daolio was held this morning at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy. The prize was given to Maurizio Cattelan, Italian artist/icon whose provocative and playful artistic career has made him famous all over the world. The jury of the prize was composed by Renato Barilli, Alessandro Mendini, Loredana Parmesani, and Jacopo Quadri.

The name of the prize, formerly dedicated to the memory of curator Francesca Alinovi, murdered at 35, was changed this year to add a colleague and friend of hers, curator Roberto Daolio, who died earlier this year. In 1980s, Maurizio Cattelan’s early career started in Bologna at Gino Gianuizzi’s neon>gallery, in the same new art wave that involved Francesca Alinovi and Roberto Daolio. Daolio was among the first to believe in Cattelan, and he curated his first solo exhibitions.

The jury expected Maurizio Cattelan to come collect his prize in person, given the strong relationship he had with Roberto Daolio, who passed recently. Instead, Cattelan sent a popular comic duo, I Soliti Idioti, to give an entertainment show performance dressed as Catholic priests, making jokes about Cattelan’s art and Catholicism (Cattelan’s most famous artwork, La nona ora (1999), depicts Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteorite). The provocative act resulted in fact in a strong reaction, especially from art critic and former professor Renato Barilli. Barilli declared that Cattelan, having chosen not to attend the ceremony (one of the artist’s many provocative absences), and to put up a show of this sort instead, in his opinion did not deserve the Alinovi-Daolio prize.

In the tradition of the prize, Cattelan was awarded of a series of gifts by last year’s winner, artist Davide Bertocchi. Bertocchi returned Cattelan’s home keys, that he had borrowed a few years ago, and gave him a skateboard.

The events in memory of Francesca Alinovi continue tomorrow with a study day dedicated to the curator at MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.

All photographs by Valentina Casalini.

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by Matilde Soligno
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