A tu per tu con Francesco Bonami
Florentine by birth, New Yorker by adoption, one of the most important, internationally renowned curators of contemporary art and the author of numerous publications, Francesco Bonami has curated one of the special projects for this Pitti Uomo show: the exhibition Fanatic Feelings (staged in the Santa Maria Novella complex until 22 July).
Can you suggest three reasons to go and see Fanatic Feelings, for a football fan and for the totally uninitiated?
The video installation by Phillippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon, Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait. It’s a unique visual and audio experience. The world of football is transformed into an aesthetic experience. So in other words, it’s an exhibition where you don’t need to be either a fashion enthusiast or a football fanatic to enjoy it. A visit could last from half-an-hour to three hours, depending on your tastes.
What did you find most engrossing about this project, as it was taking shape?
The way the two worlds are so distant from each other and yet reflect each other at the same time. The exclusive and individual world of fashion and the inclusive and collective world of football, yet the two worlds are full of very similar pagan rites.
The exhibition retraces the careers of George Best, Eric Cantona, Gigi Meroni… If you could be reborn as a footballer, who would you like to be?
One of the texts in the catalogue compares me to Paul Gascoigne, so I’d go for him, even though my snobby side would push me rather conceitedly to prefer Falcao or Liedhom!
The exhibition explores the coupling of football and fashion, both of which are art forms.
But what link is there today between contemporary art and the world of football?
Contemporary art is such a niche and exclusive field, it always dribbles along a bit behind the worlds of mass appeal such as fashion, cinema or football. The video portrait of Zidane brilliantly expresses the relationship between art and football.
Would you ever have expected fashion to have gained so much power in a world that appears to be so distant?
Why not? We live in a world that’s increasingly immediate and both football and fashion are seeking this too. Football finds it in the goal, fashion in the accessory. Both are pursuing the instant that can become unforgettable.
If you had to predict the coming future for the world of football, at a macro trend level, what would you say?
It’ll continue to be more and more spectacular, including at the emotional level. Like art, it’s a totally useless activity from both the practical and the rational points of view, and yet both football and art are irreplaceable: you can’t do without them.
Will we see you at Pitti Uomo?
No, I’m still an outsider in both fashion and football. My field is contemporary art and Pitti Uomo coincides with the World Cup of the art world: the Basel art fair. I’m a regular player there so I can’t miss it!