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By Patricia Boccadoro

PARIS, 21 AUGUST 2013Toilet Paper is a magazine* of only pictures founded by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari (both based in Milan and New York) three years ago. Its pop iconography, taken at random from several issues of the magazine, is currently splashed onto the impressive seven front windows of the Palais de Tokyo, inside as well as out, but it does little to alleviate the atmosphere in the dismal, perfunctory cafeteria. Nor does it attract a second glance from people strolling along the sunny pavements outside. And no wonder, for despite the short-lived media attention at the time of the ‘unveiling’, it is that rarity in Paris, being a non-event, a show which invites neither praise nor criticism, being neither good nor bad and not even provocative.

Photo: Toilet Paper, June 2010

It is, as William Shakespeare would have said, "much ado about nothing," for who is interested in a photo of someone’s mouth stuffed with a dozen frankfurters, or by a puzzled frog deposited inside a hamburger bun? According to two small girls there, who were nevertheless admiring a flower-covered donkey, the windows were just "plain silly", but since the windows are there for the next 12 months, perhaps they will find one or two more appreciative onlookers.

Photo: Toilet Paper, July 2012

However, Cattelan should worry, for he and Toilet Paper have just signed a presumably lucrative contract with Kenzo for the coming season, so there are obviously many who find the Italian artist brilliant, ultra realist, and disturbing. Does this sell clothes? 

*Toilet Paper is a monthly magazine much in demand, which, according to the bookshop at the Palais de Tokyo, sells out pretty quickly. My local newsagent had not heard of it.

Le Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris

Tel: (33) 1 47 23 54 01

Based in Paris, Patricia Boccadoro is a senior editor and member of the editorial board of Culturekiosque. She last wrote on Gustav Klimt: The Complete Paintings by Tobias G. Natter.

Headline image: Toilet Paper, November 2011

For more Toilet Paper, please click here.


Maurizio Cattelan: All
By Nancy Spector and Maurizio Cattelan (Editor)

Hardcover: 255 pages
Guggenheim Museum Publications (November 2011)
ISBN-10: 0892074167

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