Lot 62
  • 62

Maurizio Cattelan

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  • Maurizio Cattelan
  • Lavorare è un brutto mestiere (Working Is a Bad Job)
  • laserprint on PVC

  • 280 by 580 by 20cm.
  • 110 1/4 by 228 1/4 by 7 7/8 in.
  • Executed in 1993.


Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan

Acquired directly from the above by the present owner


Venice, XLV Biennale Internazionale dell'Arte, 1993


Francesco Bonami, et al., Maurizio Cattelan, London 2000, p. 75, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

"I’m very interested in the problem of information: for example at the 1993 Venice Biennale I assigned my space to an advertising agency. The agency used the space to display its latest campaign for a perfume. I also hired myself out to their press office. In order to function, this work didn’t need a description; it just required an external element which would encourage people to reflect on the internal working of the Aperto." (Maurizio Cattelan interviewed by Emanuela De Cecco and Roberto Pinto, Flash Art, No. 182, Milan 1994, pp. 116-118)

The situations, objects, characters and personas that inhabit Maurizio Cattelan’s oeuvre are those which impact upon his daily existence and involve his own interaction in a theatre of the absurd suspended between reality and fiction. While he abstains from offering solutions to the problems he sees in society, his work tries to show that it is possible to use the system and survive without being consumed by it.

When, in 1993, Cattelan manipulated the grand traditions of the Venice Biennale, Italy’s greatest showcase for the state of contemporary art, by renting out his exhibition space to an advertising agency, he immediately did just that. Although the image which filled the space was entirely the creation of the agency, Cattelan’s art lay in his exposure of the systems which govern such exhibitions. By allowing an exterior, non-artistic, body to infiltrate this sanctified world he was exploring the hierarchies and politics of choice which selects the participants. The literal translation of the title sums up the inherent contradictions: Working is a bad job.