Paola Pivi: I am tired of eating fish / la Rinascente, Milan (Italy)

Within the framework of la Rinascente’s series of commissions for the Piazza Duomo windows of its department store in Milan (Italy), the Italian artist Paola Pivi conceived a site-specific installation titled “I am tired of eating fish”. The main protagonists of the installation are feathered polar bears which Paola Pivi shows in different situations and postures that show references to art, to design, to lifestyles and to free time, to nature and to work. Curated by Cloe Piccoli, the installation has been unveiled on the occasion of Miart 2017 art fair in Milan. It runs until 9 April, 2017. This video provides you with a virtual tour of the installation and an interview with the artist Paola Pivi.

Paola Pivi: I am tired of eating fish / la Rinascente, Milan (Italy). March 29, 2017.

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Complete video (15:14 min.):

Press text:

As one of the most surprising highlights in Milan during the days of Miart, the Art Week, and the Salone del Mobile, la Rinascente presents I am tired of eating fish, a site-specific project by Paola Pivi, curated by Cloe Piccoli, expressly developed for the windows of Piazza Duomo in Milan.

I am tired of eating fish redesigns the eight windows overlooking Piazza Duomo and invites people to enter the universe of Paola Pivi, a surreal world governed by the laws of the absurd, a daydream where anything is possible. References to art, to design, to lifestyles and to free time, to nature and to work, migrate between sculptures and installations in Paola Pivi’s project, in an alienating dimension, between reality and hallucination, narrating far-o stories and (quasi)-daily realities.

Following the important solo show that recently closed at the Dallas Contemporary, Paola Pivi responded to la Rinascente’s invite with a surprising and radical project. In this historic and symbolic landmark of Milan, between la Scala Theatre and Palazzo Reale, the artist delves into her peculiar irony, determination, and candour, another perspective, another way of observing and experiencing the world, by-passing conventional thought systems and references.

Is this Paola Pivi’s world to be upside-down or it is ours?

I am tired of eating fish is the latest in a vibrant series of projects commis- sioned by la Rinascente, always committed to supporting and producing cul- tural projects, that include fashion, design, art, architecture, graphic design, music and food, involving some of the most interesting artists and designers on the international scene, as John Armleder, Hella Jongerius, Martino Gamper, and Olafur Eliasson.


Paola Pivi is an Italian artist who is known worldwide. She reached international stardom with her first exhibitions, thanks to works of overwhelming impact.

Colossal gestures, like tipping a tow truck onto its side or overturning an aeroplane on its back, made with surprising light-heartedness and irony, were the first works of Paola Pivi. Indeed, Untitled (airplane), a Fiat G-91 aircraft tipped over and resting on its own cabin, won the Leone d’Oro Award at Harald Szeeman’s Biennale di Venezia in 1999. Pivi was then invited to the Biennale di Venezia for the second time in 2003, and participated in Manifesta 5 in 2004, Manifesta 10 in 2014, and in the Berlin Biennale in 2008.

In 2012, she created two public art projects in New York with How I Roll, a Public Art Fund work consisting of a Piper Seneca aircraft that rotates forward continuously while lifted on its wingtips, installed near Central Park in Doris Freedman Square; and Untitled (zebras), an original and romantic image of two zebras on a snow-covered mountain installed on a billboard of the High Line on West 18th Street in New York. Invited to Sculpture International Rotterdam in 2010|2011, she created an important project in this city as well called Grrr Jamming Squeak, an interactive sound recording studio open to everybody for free to create music along with recordings of animal sounds.

Her works are also present in prestigious permanent collections, including those of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, and the MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome.

She has exhibited in important museums and galleries: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1999), P.S.1 MoMA, New York (2000, 2001, 2003, 2007), MACRO, Rome (2003, 2010), MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (2005), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2005), Hayward Gallery, London (2005), Kunsthalle Basel (2007), Portikus, Frankfurt (2008), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2008), Tate Modern, London (2009), Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2012), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014), Dallas Contemporary (2016).

Paola Pivi was born in Milan in 1971. She lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska (USA). The artist is represented by Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan | London | Hong Kong, and by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

Transcript of the interview:

This is my exhibition at la Rinascente, there are 8 windows on the street, where we are is very important I wish that you turn the camera and look at this amazing art that we have in front, which is the Duomo. I think because the Milan people are so… you know under… they would never praise themselves. That’s why this building is not that famous worldwide like other Italian buildings but actually I think it could be one of the most beautiful in my opinion.

I moved to Alaska in 2006 and bears just completely invaded my life because we are we are surrounded by them in Alaska. It’s just very basic, simple, it’s their land, you know, if I were to be a guest in somebody’s house for years and years and years, I’d definitely have a strong, you know, like an osmosis into, to what I do.

I woke up to the fact that all of us have a strong relationship with the animals, you know, it’s just so basic, we did before for a very long time and even though today we can avoid it, it’s in our… it’s in the way we are built, so it is there even if you don’t have pets. You know, the one thing that always strikes me is that if there is an animal in front of your view it’s impossible not to have a reaction an instinctive reaction of fear, happiness, attraction, you know, to find the animal beautiful or repulsive or scary, you know, think of spiders, snakes and the power of that, it’s very deep. So when I show animals, this relationship comes to the surface again.

Well, I guess that, you know, could also be the power of the art that it’s very deep communication, I mean, I don’t mean deep, I mean, effective communication. What I do is just what instinctively comes natural for me to do. Just to do, do, do, do, do, do do do, you know, always the best I can. It’s very much for myself. Then of course I absolutely need to have an interaction with other people, so I wished for them to see it. Look at this, I got thousands of people are looking at this, this is like an overdose. So this is the… but I don’t look for this, I look for doing my art, this is a need, like a step two, like, almost like a, not an addiction, and it’s not that fundamental to the art, you know, art is also art for those artists who might not have a chance to show it yet, but it’s a very, very strong need, like we need to breathe, drink, talk or…

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