Published on the occasion of Giulio Paolini’s exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. In the booklet's essay, Craig Owens underlines the artist’s play on the gaze—a key component of any relevant self-portrait—that is erased or obstructed by the artist’s expert mise en scène. By reworking famous paintings or statues, Paolini plays with the positions of the characters to recreate an entirely new scene and situation, where the observed becomes the observer, leading to a reassessment of the artist-viewer relationships, its role and position. This constant reworking of situations also leads him to explore the theme of the disappearance of the subject. For instance, a work like Qualqu’uno o qualcosa (someone or something) including an empty showcase and a mirror, plays with the spectator’s expectations, creating an enigmatic situation that challenges our material and tangible conception of the artwork.
Published by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York