Author(s): McCorquodale Duncan
A new series in collaboration with Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Italy, each book focusing on a different artist that has taken part in their Advanced Course in Visual Arts. Black Dog Publishing start this series with the internationally acclaimed radical artists Hans Haacke and Susan Hiller. The books focus on the individual artists, their work, the themes that were addressed on the course and their commentary on the contemporary art world.
This book focuses on his 2010 site-specific work, "Once Upon a Time..." screened in a disused church, San Francesco in Como, Italy. For the installation, Haacke projected footage from major Italian television channels onto sections of the original seventeenth century frescoes adorning the church's apse. These videos were juxtaposed onto the frescoes, filling in the gaps where the originals had faded due to the ravages of time, the artist introduced continuously changing glimpses of Italy's contemporary corporate culture. Into the missing parts of the frescoes the artist video-projects live TV programs of Rete 4, Italia 1, Canale 5 and the Milan stock exchange data in real time, in order to create a sort of collage made of seventeenth century representations and contemporary video images.
Hans Haacke also exhibited two of his other works in the church, in response to the architecture of San Francesco and its frescos, "Wide White Flow 1967" and "The Population meets St. Francis." The book juxtaposes Hans Haacke's writings from San Francesco with speech transcripts from Berlusconi and other essays commenting on his work to provide an overview of the contemporary work of this established artist.