Turin hosts controversial ‘Shit and Die’ show

Turin is seeking to cement its place as a major stop on the international contemporary art circuit by hosting "Shit and Die" - an exhibition that has sparked controversy at city hall.

Turin hosts controversial 'Shit and Die' show
The exhibition title is a reference to artist Bruce Nauman's 1984 work One Hundred Live and Die. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

The collection of works from some 50 artists, including Britain's Sarah Lucas, opened to the public Thursday and will run until January 11th at the city's Palazzo Cavour.

Its launch coincides with the opening of the annual Artissima contemporary art fair in the northern Italian city, which is best known as the home of Fiat and Juventus football club but is seeking to forge a future as a cultural hub.

The Shit and Die collection was curated by provocative Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, best-known for his work depicting the late Pope Jean-Paul II felled by a meteor.

Cattelan was briefed to come up with an exhibition that takes the city of Turin as its point of departure.

But the exhibition, which features nudity and expletives, has prompted controversy at Turin's city hall. Councillor Silvio Viale has written to Piero Fassino, the city's mayor, asking to cut sponsorship for the art project, La Repubblica reported.

For the organizers, the exhibition is a "space that turns into a surrealist dream – or nightmare – where Contessa di Castiglione [the mistress of Napoleon III] rubs elbows with Nietzsche's ghost while more than 60 artists occupy what used to be the house of Camillo Benso Conte de Cavour, [the] invisible but still present head of household."

And at the risk of being castigated for pretension, they defended the use of the provocative title for the exhibition, which they said was a reference to artist Bruce Nauman's 1984 work One Hundred Live and Die.

"It [the title] sums up life reduced to its simplest and most universal elements, which is exactly what the show is about," Artissima said.

"Turin, its history and its stories are treated like signs that, when translated through the syntax of contemporary art, shape into a wider statement on the complexity of human beings and the torments of life."

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Turin chosen to host Eurovision Song Contest in 2022

The next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2022 will be held in the northern Italian city of Turin, organisers confirmed on Friday.

Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam.
Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP

“Turin has won the race to become the host city of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, having triumphed over 16 other competing bids,” read a statement on the contest’s official website.

“The Grand Final will be held in PalaOlimpico on Saturday 14 May with Semi-Finals on 10 and 12 May.”

“We won! Turin has won!” mayor Chiara Appendino wrote in a celebratory post on Facebook.

Italian state broadcaster Rai said Turin had beaten off competition from the cities of Milan, Bologna, Rimini and Pesaro to host the event.

READ ALSO: Italy wins Eurovision: ‘We just want to say to the whole world, rock’n’roll never dies!’

Turin will be the third Italian city to host the event after Naples (which hosted in 1965) and Rome (1991), after Rome-based rock band Måneskin’s victory in Rotterdam earlier this year with the song ‘Zitti e buoni’.

That event, watched by 183 million people, was Italy’s third Eurovision win and its first for three decades.

‘Turin is the perfect Host City for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest,” said Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl.

“As we saw during the 2006 Winter Olympics, PalaOlimpico exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale and we have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment from the City of Turin who will welcome thousands of fans next May.”

“This will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Italy in 30 years and, together with our Host broadcaster Rai, we are determined to make it a special one.’

Turin was home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and is hosting the ATP Finals tennis tournament next month.