Friday, April 2, 2010

On Cavellini

Eva Lake says:
 "Where to begin with Cavellini? I’ll start at my beginning with him: he was old and I was young. I had heard of him many times through the world of mail art...One saw his work in many journals and everyone seemed so infatuated...I didn’t really get it until I met him. He’d met Marcel Duchamp. Had a fairly adventurous life. Early on he had made his own autobiography his art and wrote it everywhere he could.

 Eva and Cavellini in performanace at  Inter DADA 84. Photo by Turk LeClair.
Text itself was the art form, as you see from his suit. He laid it on shaved heads, he wrote it on naked bodies – including my own during the Interdada Festival in San Francisco in 1984  Using his same fluid hand, he rewrote art history and put himself and his friends in high places...

He also made books, postcards, leaflets and loads of colorful propaganda. I have a slew of it at home and can’t begin to share half of it. He would send huge posters which were all collaged over with hand-written and hand-painted bits. He was famous for stickers with his lifespan of 100 years printed on them (which unfortunately turned out to not be true, as Cavellini passed on in 1990)."

Ginny Lloyd (me) says:
"I met Cavellini in 1980 when he wrote on my head in performance at Inter DADA 80 in Ukiah, CA.  I didn't have much opportunity to spend time with him until a visit with Vittore Baroni at Cavellini's home in Brescia, Italy. It was a cordial meeting and I got to view his art collection, archives and beautiful villa. We had lunch together in a garden.
Ginny Lloyd and Baroni with Cavellini in his hand writtern canvas, 1981 in Brescia, Italy. Photo by Ginny Lloyd.

I was working on my book, Blitzkunst at the time so a photo session had been arranged as part of the visit. After he donned a Cavellini outfit for the shoot I took several photos of him. When we were done, he brought out coats and hats for me and Baroni to try on and invited us to perform for the camera using a built in timer.

After the visit we kept in communication via mail. Later when planning for Inter DADA 84, I wrote to Cavellini and invited him to attend. He accepted and the rest is history."

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