Portrait of The Hut Project as Tom Gidley
For 'It's Not Me, It's You', our first solo exhibition at Limoncello, we produced exhibits to represent the 'conceptual difference' between ourselves and the other artists in the gallery. To represent the difference between us and Giorgio we showed a work by a little known Danish artist called Alfred Johansen, that we'd come across when it was shown by Elmgreen and Dragset in the 'Artists' Favourites' ehibition at ICA, London in 2004. In the 1960s Johansen apparently became increasingly frustrated by his implication in the commodification of art, and as a final resort he took to conducting his performances in the dark. The work we showed, 'Untitled', was an image of one such performance, and was made in 1966 shortly before he destroyed most of his work and disappeared forever.
Later, in the same upper galleries of the ICA where we first came across the Alfred Johansen piece, we showed a work called 'Old Kunst' - a literal retrospective of every work we had ever made, individually and collectively, from early childhood to that moment. The Johansen piece was unavailable for loan so we showed a document of it from the Limoncello show instead. When we read the catalogue text for 'Old Kunst' a few months later we realised this document had been mistaken for a work by Giorgio Sadotti himself, through a misreading of the exhibition credits. To complicate matters further, it turned out that the Johansen piece was a fake, a fiction constructed by Elmgreen and Dragset. So 'Untitled' by the fictional Alfred Johansen, by the real Elmgreen and Dragset, has through our presentation of it and a subsequent misreading of our intentions, been recategorised as a work by another artist, Giorgio Sadotti.
We wanted to address the narrative sequence of this error, and to further complicate the fictions that come in its wake by implicating everyone involved in a new work. The solution came one evening when we were relaying this anecdote to another Limoncello artist. He told us that when he first looked at the gallery website, not knowing of Giorgio Sadotti, he had come to the conclusion that Sadotti must be a fictional artist we had created. A perfect cue...
'Untitled by Giorgio Sadotti' is an image of Giorgio's latest Limoncello show (a retrospective of sorts), photographed in the dark, printed and framed exactly as the Alfred Johansen piece, and titled as a Sadotti work. The only clues to this complex narrative of real-life fictions and fictional lives are through the work's visual identity with the Johansen, and a small bookmark in the ICA catalogue in the gallery office marking the page of the error that triggered the work.