Public days: 3 - 5 November 2023

Detail of the tableau vivant of Gino De Dominicis installed at the 36th Venice Art Biennale

June 1972
Photograph by Claus Peter Fischer, Publifoto
© Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive

On the opening day of the Venice Biennale in 1972, the work presented by Gino De Dominicis caused an uproar. The installation titled Second Solution of Immortality (The Universe is Immobile) was composed of three objects: a square drawn on the ground, a ball and a stone. The scandal came from the fact that watching over those three presences there was a young man with Down syndrome. The young man spent only a few hours seated in front of the viewers, but his presence was certainly noticed, and on the following days he was replaced by a girl. This solution did not put a stop to the diatribe, and the public prosecutor’s office of Venice had to intervene, closing the room and accusing the artist of exploitation of an incapable person.

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