Sissa Micheli
Art Theft Reversed

1956: Andy Warhol, before he became a household name, decided to gift a painting to MoMA in New York. Their answer? Thanks, but no, we haven’t got room for it. Even legends have to deal with rejection.

Who knows how many knock-backs even the greatest artists, inventors or scientists have to go through before they make it? These things happen, even to the best: the important thing is to keep believing in your talent.

This is the idea behind the work conceived by the artist Sissa Micheli (Brunico, 1975) for Museion’s media façade. The video starts life as a performance: the artist, in a black bodysuit, sneaks into Museion and sidles up to a display case. It looks like a classic art heist, but instead of taking something away from the museum Sissa Micheli is bringing something in. An art robbery in reverse. And the item in question is a typed letter that tells the story of a historic rejection: when MoMA turned down an artwork from a certain Andy Warhol. Not yet known as the father of Pop Art, the museum replied that there was no room for his work. And asked him to come and take it away. “The message I want to get across is that artists should not let rejections from important institutions get them down, but use them as motivation to work harder to get to the top, as it was for Warhol”, explains the artist.

The video ends on a disorientating note: the “thief” gets caught red-handed by an invasion of  paparazzi who surround her with their cameras like a star. Something has been subverted: is this reverse robbery fact or fiction?

Curated by Frida Carazzato


Sissa Micheli
Art Theft Reversed

Thursday 7th August 2014
9 pm: artist talk
screening from 10 pm to 12 am

Thursday 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th August 2014, screening from 10 pm to 12 am

Admission free