Maurizio Cattelan. Vicissitudes of a bad student

Francesca Agamennoni


The satirical representation of the scholastic world is a recurring motif in Maurizio Cattelan's artistic production, since the beginning of his career, in the first part of the Nineties: from the point of view of the undisciplined and lazy student (with whom the artist identifies himself) the educational system is shown as a coercive and punishing entity which burdens individuals with compulsory, monotonous and senseless exercises (such as writing). Many different factors contribute to this negative portrait of schooling: the biographical experience of Cattelan himself as an unhappy pupil; the stereotypes about lazy students and their attitude towards educational institutions; an interest in schooling as a metaphor to describe the relationship between the artist and the art world. This analysis of Cattelan's most representative works inspired to the scholastic world aims to show how his self-description as a bad student can be read as a proposal of a new understanding of the artist's role within the art system.


Cattelan; school; student

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