The mole

March 11th, 1978, ‘Bruna Soletti’ Gallery, Milan

November 8th, 1978, ‘Notation’ Gallery, Toronto

I sent a telex with an invitation to fight for the creation of a new type of mole that feeds on asphalt, reproduces rapidly, eats the highways for a couple of days, creates chaos and revolution.

The people come to see what the project is about. However, they see the gallery full of small balls of printed paper (cultural humus?). My friend Giorgio Magnarini deliberately sacrificed his own Playboy collection (many years!) on this occasion.

I sit underneath, quietly and peacefully, waiting for my friends to start scaring the mole. I am raging like a real mole blinded by the light. I am looking for a shelter in the ‘ground’ and that’s how I unveil the ‘choreography.’ The audience also discovers it and covers me up with as many small balls as they can. I am walking underneath, I am cutting a tunnel, I am jumping for as long as I can. (In Canada carrots and beers were served after the performance. Some of those in attendance were astonished: they thought it was kind of an escalation of Italian political art).

This text, a mixture of fictitious politics, humor, and current events, underlines the symbolic aspects of the title ‘The Mole.’

The audience participates by making paper balls to have the molehill grow. This ritual gesture increases ambiguity and tension ultimately producing a sense of joyful relief.

The method is typical of Misheff’s performances. He makes use of titles full of allusive connotations.

When performed, literally they catapult themselves from their allegoric meaning and reacquire their original one. In today’s world, language, overloaded with metaphors and ambiguity, is beginning to lose its comprehensibility.

For this reason, when the artist says ‘The Mole’, he becomes the mole[1].

[1] Misheff, A., My lies, Milan, Dov’è la tigre ed., 1979.