Thursday, April 2, 2020 | Edition VFO

Podcast with Vittorio Santoro





Starting this week, we will present one work at irregular intervals and sometimes offer a podcast with the respective artists. This week we start with the new work of Vittorio Santoro.




Vittorio Santoro, Rhinocéros sinon Bérenger (2020)



Vittorio Santoro, Rhinoceros otherwise Bérenger (2020), installation view


Two metal intercoms with handwritten last names. No matter how the leaf is held, one of the systems is always upside down. The names - Rhinocéros and Bérenger - refer to the play by Eugène Ionesco, first performed in 1959. In the play an epidemic of "Rhinocérite" breaks out, which gradually turns the inhabitants of a village into rhinoceroses. Only the protagonist Bérenger retains his human form until the end, even in his ambiguity, and vows never to capitulate.

When hanging up the picture one is faced with the choice: do I want to read Rhinocéros or Bérenger? Which is the "right" orientation for me? By directly involving the viewer, Vittorio Santoro invites them to deal with the central themes of Ionesco's play, namely conformity, systems thinking and totalitarian regimes. The choice of the "realistic" medium of photography to represent the intercom and the "trompe-l'œil"-like execution of the lithography and the embossed print contrast with the surreal character of the play and in a certain sense transfer fiction into our reality.



Vittorio Santoro, Rhinocéros sinon Bérenger (enlarged image)






The group of works around Rhinocéros and Bérenger, includes various media from photography, wallpaper, flags and posters, and was realized in many different ways in Portugal, Greece and Switzerland. A documentation of various exhibition views can be found below:

Vittorio Santoro, Rhinocéros/Bérenger (2018) Photographic works, dyptich, Ed. 3, Photo: Vittorio Santoro Archive

Vittorio Santoro, Rhinocéros/Bérenger (2019) wall paper, dyptich digital print on adhesive paper, Studio View: Cascais (PT), Photo: Vittorio Santoro Archive

Vittorio Santoro, Flag (Rhinocéros/Bérenger) (2019) Flag 150x200cm (digital print on textile) for "Ver as vozes dos artistas #2". Saco Azul, Art in public space, Porto (PT), curated by Miguel von Hafe Pérez in the City of Porto, various locations 18 Oct.–21 Dec. 2019, Photo: Vittorio Santoro Archive

Vittorio Santoro, Rhinocéros/Bérenger (2019) Poster for Phenomenon_3, Biennial of Contemporary Art, Anafi (Greece), digital prints 100x70 cm, Photo: Vittorio Santoro Archive