Over the last ten years, Danilo Correale (Naples, 1980) has expanded his artistic research to embrace a wide range of media, including photography, installations, video, participatory happenings, public involvement and texts. Correale’s works are often based on lengthy studies in the spheres of economics, politics, the sociology of consumption and information, frequently carried out in collaboration with experts in the relative fields. Updating currents such as the Institutional Critique and Participatory Art, this artist expresses an idea of art as a space for the analysis and criticism of structures of power, through the creation of works that aim to question today’s mechanisms linked to the management of democracy, individual freedom, education, the distribution of wealth and work, health and leisure. He often uses sharp irony to broach the contradictions and tensions that innervate our daily lives, drawing on the mechanism of play which is presented as an anthropological tool for reconsidering established rules.
This is the case with the video work The Surface of My Eye Is Deeper than the Ocean (2011), documenting an endeavor in which the artist gave participants a number of lottery “scratch cards” that he himself had purchased. The single rule was that participants could only collect the winnings on the condition they shared out the money equally. This rule allowed each participant to win about 30 euros, a paltry sum when compared to the total expense of buying the tickets. The work becomes a paradoxical metaphor for the creation of value, social competition and the distribution of economic wealth.
The video The Game – donated to the museum’s collection by the artist and produced by the Ermanno Casoli Foundation – documents the project of the same name created in 2013 on the occasion of the artist being awarded the Ermanno Casoli Prize promoted by the homonymous foundation. Employees of three companies from Siena were invited to take part in a project on the theme of conflict, which resumed twentieth-century reflections on trialectics as a system of thought in opposition to the dialectic of Hegel. While in the Hegelian dialectic system ideas spring from the confrontation between two opposing theories, the trialectic system conceived by Henri Lefebvre is, instead, based on a complex debate which abandons the notion that absolute truths can be obtained by completely surmounting an opposing party.
The Danish artist Asger Jorn drew on this theory in the 1950s, representing its dynamics with a variation on the game of soccer which included the participation of three teams and a hexagonal playing field with three goals. The rules of three-sided soccer are inevitably different from traditional soccer. For example, goals are only allowed if they are scored through collaboration between players of two teams, making it essential to cooperate in order to win. Hence the winning team is the one that concedes the fewest goals. Correale decided to put the game into practice, and the video that recounts this experience – with an idiom poised between a TV news report and documentary – highlights how the stages in the team’s creation – from the choice of name and badge to training – become real opportunities for comparison and exchange between the sides. The artist thus constructs a pervading metaphor for contemporary political and social disputes, for strategies aimed at overcoming the present crisis situation, and for the arbitrariness of concepts of opposition and success.