Alighiero & Boetti: About the Signature as Identity and Duplication
On a 1968 spring morning, on Peschiera avenue in Turin, Alighiero Boetti (1940-94) splits himself in two, portrayed by the photograph Twins: a photomontage that not only shows a replica of him, as much as reveals him as a ‘different’ reduplication, with minute modified details. From that work of art, previously disclosed from others evoking the topic of the double, in 1972 he separates also his name as artist’s signature and from 1973 will entitle many exhibitions “Alighiero and Boetti”, until the graphic variation “Alighiero Boetti” in 1984. The permutation of the formal variant of his signature – combining with a perturbation of his biography - reveals a self-awareness investigation and a strategy of poetics. He claims a specific role as artist embedded in the art system, posing attention on a certain type of authorial presence in a moment when – especially for minimal and conceptual art – reflections about author’s disappearance and not autograph creation are singularly increasing. The declared multiplication or replacement of himself becomes a device validated by the enactment of collaborative practices, but also bonds on a time of artistic experimentations.
Keywords: Signature • Alighiero Boetti • Contemporary Art • 1972 • Duplication • 1968