Info

Untitled drawing art is a kind of illustrated encyclopaedia of contemporary art, composed of 2000 drawings created from the “copy” of 2000 pages from different art journals starting in May 2007. How did this project come about?

I had been thinking about a work on contemporary art for a long time. In particular, I was interested in studying how contemporary art communicates, how the world of contemporary art represents itself, the image it creates for itself, the words it uses and how it uses them … Therefore, I decided to work only on advertising images rather than people, key players or works.

What made you choose one ad or page over another?

Nothing. It’s random. I chose ad pages because I want to “record” things, sketching out the boundless production of ads for contemporary art exhibitions, auctions, vernissages, interviews … and then there’s the fact that, in my opinion, the ads for the works are ultimately more interesting than the works themselves. They are an endless source of different fonts, graphics, layouts and forms. Everything is very clean and cold.

For all the drawings in Untitled you used continuous paper (i.e. sheets perforated along the right and left margins). Is this choice connected with the type of paper – lightweight and of low quality – or because it is usually used for bookkeeping printouts?

No. I chose this type of paper simply to convey the idea of the quantity of advertising production in contemporary art. To suggest colossal, boundless production. And then there’s the fact that the paper has holes and is pretty.

You recently published Ultimo, Storie di ordinaria guerra civile, a story in comics about an episode from World War II, L’ammaestratore di Istanbul, a graphic novel dedicated to the Turkish artist and intellectual Osman Hamdi, and Porto dei Santi, a travel diary in pictures. Your most recent exhibition was Sangue in Algeria, a cross between poetry and cartoon journalism that probes a little-known chapter of recent history. The investigative, historical, journalistic and visual aspects are evident. You often use photo reportage as a starting point and construct a new dimension that is partway between news and reinvention. Is there any connection between Untitled and the works immediately preceding it?

Untitled is the natural continuation of my works. It is the same research, but of course there is a powerful thematic shift. As in Sangue in Algeria and Porto dei Santi, you can follow a single narration, dictated by a single page, or an overall story. I worked on Untitled with an eye to the classic cutups of William Burroughs: “cut and paste”, dismantle and reassemble, and – incredibly – everything makes sense.

Viola Giacometti’s interview of Gianluca Costantini. Ravenna, 17 February 2009

Contact:
info@untitled.org.uk

www.gianlucacostantini.com | www.politicalcomics.info