Maurizio Cattelan - Amen (2012-13)

Amen is Cattelan’s first retrospective after a year of silence and retirement from the art world. On view at Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland, is a selection of the artist’s most recent works in which he explored the deepest areas of human life.

In front of the castle visitors are captured by the hanging child replacing the flag on the pole (Untitled, 2004), questioning society’s sense of responsibility toward the youngest generation.

Inside, the work Mother, a memento from a famous performance at the Vienna Art Biennale in 1999 recalls the search for spiritual values that is common to religion and art while the dying horse and tormented woman compel us to reflect upon the ethical and anthropological dimension of sacrifice, victim and dying.

The exhibition expands beyond the gallery, a part of which can be seen on 14 Próżna St., a former Warsaw Ghetto, in which Cattelan had (controversially) placed the work Him (2001), a statue of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees.

In a Warsaw ravaged by the cataclysmic 20th century, Cattelan’s works take on a particular dimension: they become an artistic commentary on the Catholic credo… What does it really mean to love your enemies? What does forgive for those who trespass against us mean? In evoking the traumas of history, his art represents a difficult challenge to the identity of the Poles: to what extent is our national memory a form of forgetfulness? To what degree does that which we wish to forget determine us and constitute a sui generis form of concealed memory?”

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