Liu Bolin, the Invisible Man, Disappears in Front of Bocconi Students

Liu Bolin, the Invisible Man, Disappears in Front of Bocconi Students


It was a packed lobby that welcomed the final stage of Liu Bolin's performance yesterday in the classroom building. The Chinese artist is famous for the photographs in which he completely camouflages himself in the surroundings. An almost surreal silence was broken only by the photographer's countdown to each click of the shutter and then by the final applause of the 500 people who attended. The "invisible man" Bolin completed a work that kept him, together with the staff of the Boxart Gallery in Verona which supports him in Italy, intensely occupied for about two days. A long, painstaking work, which required extreme precision to match each element of the artist's painted body with the background of books created ad hoc with volumes - contemporary and antique - provided by the Bocconi Library.

"I am very happy to be able to stage my works", the artist explained, emphasizing the value of live performance and stating, about his choice of medium, how "the voice of an artist, in my case a painter, are just the colors. They are the only means I have by which to transmit emotions and thoughts ".

Bolin's performance "was a beautiful opening of the Arts and Culture seminars within the Broaden Your Frame project," added Antonella Carù, Dean of the Graduate School. "The chance to watch this work back stage for two days on site in Piazza Sraffa 13 made this event truly unique and exciting. It is an honor that our University is one of the places in the splendid Hiding in the City series. "

With the shot at Bocconi, Bolin continues the series of camouflage photos in cities. Since 2008, he has created 45 works in our country alone, in front of some of the most iconic examples of Italian art. The very first performances date back to 2005 and in particular from the moment following the destruction of the artists' village where he lived by the Chinese government. He chose the ruins of that place as the first example of his protest. In his view, in fact, the perturbing element in space constituted by his silhouette forces the spectator to look at that exact portion of reality. The goal of hiding himself in space, therefore, is precisely to draw attention to that space. By making himself almost invisible, his makes his surroundings more clear.

After the live performance, the exhibition of 15 other photos created by Bolin in China, Italy and the United States will remain on display. Brought to Bocconi by MIA Photo Fair as part of the Bocconi Art Gallery, the show can be visited until the middle of January in the Bocconi building in Via Sarfatti.

by Andrea Celauro
Translated by Richard Greenslade

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