“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
That’s the text of a cable sent by the writer Mark Twain from London to the press in the United States after his obituary had been mistakenly published, so the story goes.
Similarly, the “elite” of 2020 may be suitably surprised by this new text piece by street commentator ELFO on the streets of Verona, Italy. Since there are roughly four months remaining to the year, maybe this is a meant to be prophecy, but from what we all can see, the “elite” are getting richer and richer from this pandemic, as well as the custom-tailored “bail-outs” from the right- and left-wing politicians who write the bills.
The Italian textual conceptualist and urban/suburban public space instigator
ELFO has lodged his complaint on a wall against the misinformation that forms
our perceptions. The humorous one-off screed caught our attention so we asked
him about this low-fi textwork that seems decidedly Duchampian, with a nod to
BSA:Duchamp challenged conceptions of the art world with his “readymade” pieces and many a critic called him a fake. Your commentary references the “fake news” meme favored by the right wing news and politicians. How did you make the connection?
ELFO: Currently my work is returning to this message. I want to speak of the world and the history of art in ironic and contemporary way using contemporary terms. I chose Duchamp because his artwork changed the world of art. Duchamp is perfect because he played with fake identity and the critic system rendered him as a fake. He changed the rules of art, for me and many artists.
BSA:What role should art play in this world of “fake news”?
ELFO: In this world of fake news, art probably is a big fake – if it does not reflect society as a mirror.
BSA: Do you think art should always reflect our society like a mirror?
ELFO: The problem is not fake news in this world – it’s the human brain. Art must speak about serious issues like pollution for example. This is the next subject I’ll address since I have been looking at it for a long time.