Diego Tonus and Anonymous
Briefcases, security device, documents of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Courtesy MAMbo Museum Bologna (Permanent Collection) and the Artist
Private Conversations is an installation consisting in a series of business briefcases presented as sculptures, installed on the floor of the exhibition space. The briefcases hide a device that alters radio frequencies, thereby preventing any type of audio recording (digital or analogue) within the exhibition space. This security device has the capacity to discretely prevent unauthorized recordings within a range of up to 10 meters. This installation characterizes the space of the exhibition as a very public and, at the same time, private space in which every kind of conversation is possible, creating a platform for potential speeches and discussions.
Private Conversations is part of Fragments of a Conversation with a Counterfeiter. The project contributes to a discussion about the transformation and transportation of value, questioning the valorization of time and space in time of crisis. The series of new works derives from an assumed conversation between Diego Tonus and a forger (anonymous for practical reasons) revealing controversial thoughts related to contemporary systems that deal with the definition of value. Each artwork is the visual translation by the artist of this conversation manifested through the act of presenting objects, actions and words experienced by the forger within his practice of reproduction of value and ways of transporting it, hacking system of controls and dealing with the definition of individuality. Each artwork is presented in co-authorship with the forger. Tonus approaches the thoughts of the counterfeiter as if they were his intellectual property, questioning the ‘counter’ of counterfeiting and appropriating his ideas.
In order to share the appropriated forger’s ideas with the international audience, to activate and perform them, the artist has registered the works as trade secrets at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property. The validity of the trade secret is international and lasts 10 years.
Realized thanks to the support of Italian Council (2018), Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.