(b. Milan, Italy, 1971; lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska)
COMMISSIONED BY Auckland Art Gallery
Paola Pivi, I Wish I Am Fish, Auckland, 21 March 2009. Commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki curator
Natasha Conland for One Day Sculpture. Photos: Stephen Rowe
I WISH I AM FISH
Eighty goldfish touched down in a chartered Whisper Jet at Auckland International Airport Saturday 21 March.
Renowned Italian artist Paola Pivi has conceived I Wish I Am Fish as part of the nationwide ONE DAY SCULPTURE series. Each transported in their own glass bowl and allocated their own seat, the goldfish were flown over the Tasman creating a remarkable filmic event capturing the tilt of water during take off and the luminous light of high altitude skies. The video of their flight was screened at Freyberg Square from 9pm that evening.
The work has been commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki curator Natasha Conland for the nationwide ONE DAY SCULPTURE series on the occasion of Auckland Festival 2009.
For further information visit
Paola Pivi, Senza titolo (asino), photographic installation, Venice Biennale, 2003. Photo: Hugo Glendinning, courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan
Italian artist Paola Pivi first gained international awareness for her striking and perplexing photographic work of a donkey floating on a small boat at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. The work helped to form a reputation for the artist as someone working with an experimental and playful approach to objects, animals and materials in conjuring a variety of art forms. Although she had also been included in Harald Szeeman’s d’Apertutto, in the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, this was the image that captured the curiosity of the broad public, and established Pivi as an artist of multiple means, contriving works that disorientate and open up playful intrigue in adult viewers.
Pivi began her studies in the Faculty of Engineering in Milan but soon changed to attend the Academy of Brera. It is perhaps this crossover from science to art that gives her an absurd and playful sense of reality. Pivi’s large-scale projects exhibit incongruous aspects of our everyday world, confronting the viewer with unexpected and fantastic situations. Her works place well-known objects in unusual contexts. As the familiar becomes unfamiliar, these unanticipated pairings impart modified meaning and function to Pivi’s everyday objects, thus exposing cultural and social conventions.
Recently Pivi has had solo projects in Paris at Galerie Emmanual Perrotin (2006), at the Portikus Gallery, Frankfurt (2008) and in Basel at the Kunsthalle Basel (2007), a major public gallery retrospective for which she formed new works with still further emphasis on freewheeling imagination. The review of the Basel exhibition saw her on the cover of Frieze magazine, with an image featuring her installation One Cup of Cappuccino, Then I Go (2007) which featured a performance with a leopard walking across 3,000 cappuccino cups.