Eva & Franco Mattes

Eva and Franco Mattes are the Italian artist-provocateurs behind the infamous website 0100101110101101.org. Since meeting in Madrid in 1994 they have never separated, living a nomadic life throughout Europe and the US. Among the pioneers of the Net Art movement, they are renowned for their masterful subversion of public media.

Over the last fifteen years, the Mattes have manipulated video games, Internet technologies, feature films and street advertising to reveal truths concealed by contemporary society. They have created media facades believable enough to elicit embarrassing reactions from governments, the public and the art world, and they have orchestrated several unpredictable mass performances, staged outside art spaces and involved unwitting audiences in scenarios that mingle truth and falsehood to the point of being indistinguishable.

They caught the mainstream art world with its pants down with the invention of Darko Maver: this reclusive, radical artist achieved cult status and was featured in the Venice Biennale before turning out to be pure fiction.

Their superbly off-the-wall performances – that have caused them several lawsuits – include affixing fake architectural heritage plaques (An Ordinary Building, 2006), rolling out a media campaign for a non-existent action movie (United We Stand, 2005) and even convincing the people of Vienna that Nike had purchased the city’s historic Karlsplatz and was about to rename it “Nikeplatz” (Nike Ground, 2003).

Their art has been featured at the Venice Biennale (2001), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001), Manifesta, Frankfurt (2002) and in various venues worldwide, including the New Museum, New York (2005), Collection Lambert, Avignon (2006), Performa, New York (2007 and 2009) and PS1, New York (2010).

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010 Performing Memory, Kunstraum Niederosterreich, Vienna (Sep 11-18)
Liste (PlugIn), Basel, Switzerland (Jun 15-20)
Scope Basel (Fabio Paris Art Gallery), Switzerland (Jun 15-19)
AD/HD, Plugin, Basel, Switzerland (Jun 10 – Aug 22)
(re)Performing the Posthuman, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (May 21-22)
Present Tense, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia (May 20 – Aug 22)
(solo) Postmasters Gallery, New York (May 15 – Jun 19)
Kick Off, Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, Denmark (Apr 21 – Aug 15)
Inaugural Show, Marina Cain Gallery, San Francisco (Apr 16 – May 22)
You Turn Me On and On and On, EMBASSY Gallery, Edinburgh, UK (Feb 26-Mar 14)
Arco (Fabio Paris Art Gallery), Madrid (Feb 17-21)
I know that it’s all a state of mind, The Pigs of Today Are the Hams of Tomorrow, Plymouth Arts Centre, UK (Jan 21-24)
2009 I’m not here, Fabio Paris Art Gallery, Brescia, Italy
Traveling by telephone, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India
2008 It’s always six o’clock, MU, Eindhoven, Nederland
Avatars and Other Alternative Universes, Augen Gallery, Portland
Portraits, Marina Cain Gallery, San Francisco
2007 Annoying Japanese Child Dinosaur, Dockswiss Gallery, Lucerne, Switzerland
13 Most Beautiful Avatars, Postmasters Gallery, New York
LOL, Fabio Paris Art Gallery, Brescia, Italy
2006 13 Most Beautiful Avatars, Italian Academy at Columbia University, New York
2005 United We Stand, Postmasters Gallery, New York
Nike Ground Experience, Fabio Paris Art Gallery, Brescia, Italy

Selected Group Exhibitions

2009 100 Years, PS1, New York
PERFORMA09, New York
Prague Biennale 4, Czech Republic
ENTER ACTION, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark
The future is not what it used to be, Postmasters Gallery, New York
2008 Agency: Art and Advertising, McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown, USA
Synthetic Times – Media Art China 2008, National Art Museum of China, Beijing
Radical Advertising ®, NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft, Düsseldorf, Germany
L’impresa dell’Arte, PAN, Napoli, Italy
2007 Performa07, Artists Space, New York
Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria
New Economy, Artists Space, New York
Sparkle Then Fade, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, USA
Gameworld Laboral Art Center, Gijon, Spain
2006 Le paradoxe du Comédien, Collection Lambert, Avignon
Human Game
Fondazione Pitti Discovery, Florence
2005 Prospective Sites. Aktuelle Kunst in Europa
25 Peaces, public space of Austria
From mini-FM to hacktivists, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand
If it’s too bad to be true, it could be ‘disinformation’, Apexart Gallery, New York
Rhizome ArtBase 101, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
Zero Interest!, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy
Just do it! Lentos Museum of Modern Art, Linz, Austria
2004 Ipermercati dell’Arte
Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy
Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany
Nine Points of the Law, NBGK Gallery, Berlin
Reactivity: Unpredictable Past, ICC, Tokyo
A perfect day for bananafish, Postmasters Gallery, New York
Quadriennale d’Arte di Roma
Promotrice delle Belle Arti, Torino, Italy
2003 Bienal de fotografía, Tenerife, Spain
The Conquest of Ubiquity, Fundación Caja Murcia, Spain
New York Digital Salon, World Financial Center, New York
Critical Conditions, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, USA
2002 World Information, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
Punto.dot, Galería Punto, Valencia, Spain
Ars Electronica, Festival, Linz, Austria
Sónar, Centre d’Art St. Monica, Barcelona
Manifesta 4, Frankfurt
I Love You, computer-virus-hacker-culture, Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt
ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2001 Media Connection, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
Valencia Biennial, Valencia, Spain
49th Venice Biennial, Slovenian Pavilion, Venice
Double Life, Generali Foundation, Vienna
The Last Futurist Show, Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2000 Ars Electronica, Festival
Linz, Austria
Vanished Paths: crisis of representation and iconoclasm in Art, Palazzo Bonaguro, Bassano, Italy
Selected conferences and lectures
2008 I’m not here, MAXXI, Roma
2007 Tomorrow Now, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venezia
2006 The Message is the Message
MICA, Baltimore, USA
The Message is the Message
Columbia University, New York
2005 Media actionism
Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy
Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milano
2004 I Trucchi dell’Avanguardia
Museo della Permanente, Milan
Reactivity: Unpredictable Past
ICC, Tokyo
Jamming Culture
Centro de Arte Juan Ismael, Canary Islands, Spain
2002 0100101110101101.ORG
Caja de Ahorras del Mediterráneo, Valencia, Spain
Mediations: Archeologies and transformation in the electronic sphere
Austrian Cultural Institute, New York
2001 Korea Web Art Festival
Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
The Real, the Desperate, the Absolute
Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria
The Society of Control
De Balie, Amsterdam
Arte en Linea
Fundacion la Caixa, Barcelona, 1999
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Grants and awards

New York Prize, The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Academy at Columbia University (2006)
The Thing Residency, New York (2005)
ICC commission, ICC, Tokyo (2004)
Public Netbase Commission, Vienna (2003)
Intermedium2 commission, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich (2002)
Jerome commission, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001)
Honorary mention, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria (2000)
Second prize, Electronic media art competition, Fraunhofer E-Business Innovation Center, Stuttgart, Germany (2000)
First prize, Viper Festival, Basel (2000)

Public collections

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
MEIAC, Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz, Spain
21c Museum, Louisville, USA
David Howe Foundation, New York
MAK, Vienna

Selected Bibliography

Rudolf Frieling (edited by), The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now, Thames & Hudson, London 2008
Serge Lemoine, L’Art moderne et contemporain, Larousse, Paris 2006
Mark Getlein, Gilbert’s Living With Art, McGraw-Hill, San Francisco 2006
Gabriella Giannachi, Politics, New Media, Theatre: Performing the Virtual, Routledge, London and New York 2006
Reena Jana, Mark Tribe, New Media Art, Taschen, Koln 2006
Tom Corby (edited by), Network Art: Practices and Positions, Taylor & Francis, London 2006
Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito, At the Edge of Art, Thames & Hudson, London 2005
Joan Rothfuss, Elizabeth Carpenter (edited by), Bits & Pieces Put Together to Present a Semblance of a Whole: Walker Art Center Collections, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 2005
Kembrew McLeod, Freedom of Expression (R): Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity, Doubleday/Random House, London 2005
Rachel Greene, Internet Art, Thames & Hudson, London 2004
Christiane Paul, Digital Art, Thames & Hudson, London 2003