The anarchic slogan “A laughter that will bury you all” appeared in Italy in 1977, Aldo Giannotti’s birth year. The artworks Giannotti would go on to produce combine irony, observation, and criticism, with the aim of deconstructing and subverting the rules of institutions, social and otherwise. He describes his work as “funny and true,” and indeed, it operates in precisely that no-man’s-land in between the two. He investigates human interactions with their environments and the physical and symbolic infrastructure of social space. Giannotti’s practice encompasses, and often combines, video, installation, performance, photography, and drawing, whether as thought visualizations of future works or instructions to be executed. Many works are performative actions—social sculptures in a sense—in which both the artist and his audience take part. They represent real possibilities and therefore make room for new, possible realities: squares to be occupied, monuments to climb.
The aim of this book, published on the occasion of Giannotti’s first retrospective exhibition at MAMbo, Bologna, in 2021, is to merge the artist’s multifaceted output, playfully encouraging imagination and changes in perspective.