Franz West

Giorgio Persano Torino

If denunciation is transgressive, the same can be said of happiness. In these two exhibitions, Franz West expressed a desire for happiness that has seemingly been forgotten in our era. At the Pieroni gallery this feature seemed explicit in the large sofa upon which an old carpet was spread out, hiding the usual metal structure with which West creates his “functional objects.” The work evoked memories of the “western-eastern divan” of Goethe, or Freud’s sofa at Berggasse 19, along with the feeling of the East elicited by antique Russian carpets. This emphasis is connected to contemporary political themes, but here it constituted a tip of the hat toward Dimitri Prigov, whose work was also being shown. Gallery visitors sat on the sofa to chat and to listen to the reading that Prigov gave to accompany his work. Thus West’s object took on the symbolic value of an homage to the traditions of

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