marc garrett on Thu, 7 Jul 2011 10:26:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Mocking the Arts Establishment? In Italy it can be an expensive ordeal.

Mocking the Arts Establishment? In Italy it can be an expensive ordeal.

Article by Roberta Buiani.

Roberta Buiani writes about the young artist 'Luca Lo Coco', who found himself at the center of an attack initiated by the director of Flash Art, Giancarlo Politi himself. Lo Coco critiqued the commercial artworld circus, for lacking authenticity, social values and artistic integrity. He created a pesky doppelgänger of the Flash Art website at, replacing the original content with is own artwork. The site also existed as a platform for others to share their own critiques and observations concerning the arts establishment. This ended with Lo Coco having to close the site down after 6 months, as well as losing all of his home furniture when he had no money to pay for the hefty fine imposed on him by the courts.

This David and Goliath story shows us the big divide in the art world between those powerful within the arts establishment and those existing independently trying to find a platform and representation for their own creative voice. This article also touches on issues of whether these contemporary art world gate-keepers are worthy representatives of the arts, in view of their failure to reflect the bredth of the actual contemporary art scene.

"Politi’s exaggerated reaction appeared to become gradually an act of intimidation directed to the whole independent arts community rather than a personal affair between him and Lo Coco. [...] the perfect scapegoat, the sacrificial lamb that would serve to re-affirm loudly and ostensively the power of BIG ART, authority, hierarchy, and institutions against the younger, subversive, independent emerging arts." Buiani.

Other Info:

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Furtherfield – online arts community, platforms for creating, viewing,
discussing and learning about experimental practices at the
intersections of art, technology and social change.

Furtherfield Gallery – physical media arts Gallery (London).

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