In her comic take on the sport, Marcella Vanzo jabs at the rich cultural symbol of the Italian mother. The installation Mamma (2001) includes a used pair of red boxing gloves, a punching bag that resembles a sweet older lady and a captivating video of a young man wearing the gloves and hitting the bag as Luciano Pavarotti sings Italy’s most popular ode to the mother. The effect of the piece is strangely comforting as the man tires of hitting Mamma and finally clinches her in exhaustion and welcome defeat.
By Olukemi Ilesanmi, Walker art Center, Minneapolis
Exit, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy, 2002
The Squared Circle, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA, 2003
Installation, punching bag, boxing gloves, video (colour, sound, 3:20)
For collectors, I’d make a punching bag on condition that it portrayed someone they love.
A fantastic woman asked for a self-portrait and gave it to her kids.