These clay tablets bring together three stories: That of Vincent ‘the Chin’ Gigante, a New York mafia boss who pretended to be crazy for over 30 years. Gigante roamed the streets of Greenwich village NYC in a bathrobe talking to objects. He was seen as the head of the most powerful crime family in the USA. For his subordinates it was forbidden to speak his name out loud… Instead they touched their chin, or made a ‘C’ with thumb and Index.
The second: is that of ‘the Easton Assassin’: Larry Holmes, overshadowed by Muhammad Ali as the best heavyweight boxer of all time. Holmes demolished the over the Hill Ali in a 10 round slugfest affectionately called: “the Last Hurrah”. Ali’s trainer was forced to throw the towel after the tenth and afterward stated: “It was a ‘Crime’ that this fight ever took place”. In the medical exams prior to the match Ali exhibited slurred speech and wasn’t able to find his nose with his Index.
“Who knows, Ali may not have passed away now if he’d stopped when I asked.
He may not have been: trapped in a shell like he was for so many years.”
The men portrayed didn’t reach the star status of a Muhammad Ali or John Gotti
(both of the same era), but were just as, or even more powerful in their own right.
Their Code of Silence, and actions speak louder than words mentality, is what propelled them into greatness,
in a more ‘Silent’ but ‘Violent’ way.
These stories played out in the early eighties, the birth era of the young maker. Images from his early childhood were superimposed and ritually baked into the clay.
The images exhibited are screenshots from FBI surveillance, mostly grabbed from old mafia documentaries, and from a ’78 boxing match between Larry Holmes and Ken Norton.
In this match ‘the Easton Assassin’ seized the world title, to which he would hold onto for a legendary seven years. A title reign at the time only surpassed by
‘the Brown Bomber’: Joe Louis.
The screenshots or grabs of the ‘boxin bout’ were executed at the exact same moment as the photographer’s flash, which triggered an erasure of the act of Violence.