Lanfranco Aceti is an artist, curator, and scholar who has done numerous international exhibitions, performances, and public space interventions and actions. He works both as an artist and curator, keeping the two practices separated. Nevertheless there have been two projects in which the artist has mixed the two practices: the first was Hope Coming On, a choral performance with the Boston Children Chorus at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston — in which he was invited to curate one of his performances — and the second time with the current particular project in which he decided that he wanted to stretch and blur boundaries between his curatorial practice and artistic practice.
Aceti has always been interested in public space and publicness, institutional power struggles, censorship, and art as a form of expression of deeper social and personal struggles. This project is structured in two parts. The first part is titled Who Is COTUS? and has five theoretical sections: Who Is COTUS?, What Is COTUS?, Where Is COTUS?, When Is COTUS?, Why Is COTUS? The second part, titled The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Cards, is made of 49 postcard like images which depict contemporary artworks on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington DC. The curator mused that since the US is the land of the free, therefore, freed from all constrains, he could place a plinth on the North Lawn of the White House upon which to install 49 artworks.
Inspired by Ernest Miller Hemingway and Herman Melville’s literary works, the project looks at the ideas of struggle as a moment in which to reaffirm personal identities, cultural understandings, and social ethics.
The First Card, The Second Card, The Third Card, The Fourth Card, The Fifth Card, The Sixth Card, The Seventh Card, … The Forty-ninth Card.