[Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 448-449.]
Decoding The Flow, the new solo exhibition of the Museum of Contemporary Cuts presents a survey of the aesthetic and artistic practice of Paolo Cirio.
Starting from the latest of Cirio’s artworks, Loophole for All, MoCC will present a series of images that will attempt to decode the current financial and social crisis, as well as re-present the larger social issues that have characterized the last part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.
In a world of corporations is there any role left for the individual? What are the future implications of the current processes of exploitation, commodification and enslavement of the individual to supranational economic entities? Are there processes that would allow extended forms of community and citizenship to unveil and alter the power relationships between the post-citizens, the post-state and the omnivorous corporations? In order to reconsider these power relationships, what alternatives and constructive frameworks can be offered by contemporary aesthetic and artistic practices?
Cirio’s artworks have, over the years, received critical acclaim and attention from the press. They have also raised ‘corporate eyebrows’ that have lead to legal actions and controversies.
In this particular context of disproportionate relationships, the artist becomes the embodied mythological representation of a struggle that increasingly sees the concept of citizenship reduced to a condition of slavery; a condition imposed by a widespread corporate perception of economic power that is endorsed and supported by a skewed understanding of statehood and democracy.
The aesthetic practice of Cirio suggests peaceful methodologies of re-appropriation of civic forms of shared participation and civility that may still be possible to salvage from what Adorno defined as the “age of total neutralization” within which Cirio, as an artist, does not seek false and easy reconciliations.
The Museum of Contemporary Cuts will disseminate every day, for the whole duration of the show, one image of the exhibition Decoding the Flow on its electronic platforms:
Decoding the Flow and Jurisdiction Shopping are two solo exhibitions by Paolo Cirio that were made possible by the partnership between the Museum of Contemporary Cuts and Kasa Gallery.
Notes on the Artist and the Artworks
Paolo Cirio is a contemporary artist whose artworks evoke activism for a more equal world. Cirio’s latest artwork Loophole for All is an art performance and intervention that fights against corruption and injustice whilst reconsidering the artist’s position and role in contemporary post-postmodern society.
Loophole for All aims to draw attention towards the relationship between today’s global economy and the alarming amount of tax-dodging activities by international corporations. The focal point of Loophole for All is international companies currently profiting from the legal secrecy provided by the Cayman Islands. Cirio’s activism is directed towards 200,000 companies, which he has identified by hacking into the government servers of the Cayman Islands. After stealing the list of all involved companies, Cirio has issued counterfeited “Certificates of Incorporation” from the Cayman Islands’ company registry. He has made them available for a short period of time on the website Loophole4All.com, in exchange for 0.99 US Dollar.
Following and battling with legal threats, after having being accused of making profits over illegal data, the artist now distributes these certificates for free.
Loophole for All and other artworks of Paolo Cirio indicate a vital relation between activism and art. Other important artworks of Paolo Cirio include; Google will Eat Itself (2005), Amazon Noir (2006) and Face to Facebook (2011), all part of his Hacking Monopolism Trilogy.
In these three artworks, the idea of revelation of the hegemony of online systems and the ‘loophole’ possibility generated as a result of the legal enforceability of such systems provide the viewer with an aesthetic perspective on the current interwoven relationships between art, society, and issues related to political economy.
Another artwork by Cirio that touches upon the related topics is P2P Gift Credit Card (2010), which challenges the inequalities present in the current financial circuit by presenting the viewers with a new visionary monetary policy.
Cirio’s artist statement underlines that his artworks aspire to educate, inform, investigate, organize and influence contemporary society through the manipulation of media, information and communication. The artist creates aesthetic mythologies, which adopt and play with themes and techniques used for the fabrication of realities in advertising strategies, political spin and entertainment, as well as in the economic and legal languages, and their social applications.
Award-winning artist born in 1979, Italy. Paolo Cirio has worked as a media artist in various fields: net-art, street-art, video-art, software-art and experimental fiction. He investigates perception and the creation of cultural, political and economic realities manipulated by modes of control over information’s power. His work is built up on the interaction between media and performance.
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