Maurizio Cattelan: How to get a Head in the Art World
Best known to British audiences for his photorealist sculpture of the Pope struck by a meteorite (recently auctioned in NY for just under $1M), Cattelan has also produced sculptures of Hitler in prayer and exhibited the rubble from Terrorist bombings. For other works he gaffer-taped one gallerist to the wall of his white cube, and got another to wear a pink penis costume for 6 weeks. Cattelan is the court jester of the art world and the cartoonist of Conceptualism. Denied permission to meet and interview the artist, Ben brings Cattelan's sculptures to life and sends them on dangerous missions to put questions to the artist and his doubles.
Gregor Schneider: House of horrors
Schneider won the Golden Lion at the last Venice Biennale by exhibiting his whole house in the German pavilion. But this was no ordinary German suburban home - for the past twenty years, since the age of 16, Schneider has been transforming his father's three-story detached property into a house of horrors, a grim series of rooms without doors, doors without rooms, acoustically isolated rooms insulated with lead, fake partitions, dank dark basements and, in his own words, "love nests" and "wanking corners". Convinced that this kind of art can only be explained by a terrible childhood trauma, Ben tries to get Schneider to talk about his past, but the artist is determined to deflect this invasion of privacy.
Matthew Barney: the church of Cremaster
The most celebrated American artist of the moment, and partner of Bjork. Matthew Barney makes art on a Hollywood scale with videos, sculptures, photographs and drawings. His Cremaster Cycle - the art world's answer to Star Wars - is still generating queues at the Guggenheim in New York. Among the extraordinary scenes in Barney's five Cremaster films, a fleet of Chevvies demolish an old saloon car in the foyer of the Chrysler building, Buzzby-Berkeley dancers sketch out the outlines of the human reproductive system in a stadium and fairies try to fit a pink wheel with testicles onto a motorbike on the isle of Wight. All are part of a breath-taking allegory about the potential of the human body.
Relational Art: is it an ism?
While all eyes in nineties Britain were focussed on our home grown Young British Artist movement, a different global art movement evolved, interpreted by the leading French critic and curator of the Palais de Tokyo, Nicolas Bourriaud, as 'Relational Art'. Among this new generation of artists are Philippe Parreno, Carsten Hoeller, Liam Gillick, Angela Bulloch, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Armed with Bourriaud's book 'Relational Aesthetics', Ben goes in search of what might be a new 'ism'. But trouble lies ahead: many of the artists, whose reputation was established by Bourriaud's exhibitions and writings, refuse to be interviewed, deny they are relational, or once interviewed, try to ban Art Safari from showing their work. This is the film the art world did not want you to see.