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Francesco Vezzoli's project 'Greed' is a faux ad campaign for an imagined perfume. The entire project consists of a video trailer, a video (faux commercial), the bottle design and print campaign. The video was directed by the notoriously-exiled director Roman Polanski and features Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams embroiled in a fierce battle over the fanciful scent. The spurious campaign attempts to isolate and imitate the hype created by the promotion of a new luxury product in the mass market.
THE BOTTLE DESIGN
Just as Marcel Duchamp created Belle Haleine: Eau de Voilette in 1921 using a Rigaud perfume bottle with an altered label Francesco Vezzoli has created a signature perfume for the contemporary moment. Greed’s label features Vezzoli in drag, photographed by Francesco Scavullo, where Duchamp appeared on his perfume bottle as Rrose Sélavy, photographed by Man Ray.
Duchamps' Faux perfume bottle and label:
Francesco Vezzoli's Greed:
above: artist Francesco Vezzoli's Greed, The Perfume That Doesn't Exist, 2009
Crystal, paper and ribbon, 15 11/16 x 10 5/8 x 5 1/8 inches (40 x 27 x 13 cm)
The installation at the Gagosian Gallery in Rome features the perfume in the center of the room flanked by the 'faux movie posters' (more on those below) and the faux commercial ran on a monitor:
THE GALLERY SHOW INVITE:
The series of needlework portraits of leading female figures in art history –including Tamara de Lempicka, Eva Hesse, Leonor Fini – serve as immortalized endorsements of Vezzoli’s fragrance.
The posters for the product by Francesco Vezzoli are made of inkjet, wool, cotton, metallic embroidery and custom jewelry on brocade. Each features a different famous female and measures 70 7/8 x 51 3/16 inches (180 x 130 cm):
above bottle, posters and installation photos courtesy of Gagosian Gallery
THE VIDEO / FAUX COMMERCIAL:
still photos courtesy of Francesco Vezzoli Studio
The trailer for the video:
See the complete video here.
GREED is just the latest castle in what the Gagosian Gallery coins Vezzoli's "ongoing preoccupation with the fundamental ambiguity of truth, the seductive powers of language, and the instability of the human persona in a series of works that explore the undisputed power of contemporary media culture."
According to Vezzoli, his art is designed to hold a mirror to society which idolizes the concept of celebrity. At the same time, Vezzoli's racy art plumbs the depths of celebrity culture itself and seemingly revels in it, with devastatingly funny results. "It's all part of this kind of style of promotional deconstruction that I've been researching for a long time. I'm not so much of a moralist trying to make a statement," he said. "I'm fascinated by celebrity. It's a phenomenon, and I don't think the whole celebrity culture is silly. It invades everything: fashion, cinema. Without stars, no event is deemed worthy of the media to cover - you need that red carpet. My work is the study of media."
About the artist:
Francesco Vezzoli was born in 1971, in Brescia, Italy. He studied at the Central St. Martin’s School of Art in London from 1992 to 1995. His work has been exhibited at many institutions including: Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin (2002); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2004 and 2005); Museu Serralves, Porto (2005); Le Consortium, Dijon (2006); and the Power Plant, Toronto (2007). Vezzoli’s work has also been featured in the 26th São Paulo Biennial (2004); the 51st Venice Biennale (2005); the Whitney Biennial (2006); and the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). He currently lives and works in Milan.
Gagosian Gallery, Via Francesco Crispi 16, Rome.