Flipping off the Italian stock exchange


Is the finger facing outward, or is it facing the stock exchange building? Seems to me like the sculpture represents the stock exchange flipping off the rest of the world, rather than the other way around.


Either way works.


Good point!


Not godwinning, but the hand looks like it’s a Nazi salute with digits removed. Does the Italian Bourse have history?

1 Like

I think that’s precisely what it’s supposed to represent.

But, of course, by creating art that explicitly says that the stock exchange is flipping off the rest of the world, he’s implicitly flipping off the stock exchange.


“by creating art that explicitly says that the stock exchange is flipping off the rest of the world, he’s implicitly flipping off the stock exchange.”

Unless he’s a pro-capitalist extremist, in which case the sentiment might be sincere.


This is why I hate the Godwin pseudo-Law. It stifles discourse. Death to Godwin.


It’s pretty weird that you’d look at a freestanding open palm (even with all its fingers) and immediately see a Nazi salute. It’s not even the right angle. It’d make more sense to wonder why the stock exchange is offering high fives.


read the linked article

1 Like

“Now, however, the statue is raising hackles among the city’s business and financial establishment. Consob, Italy’s stock-exchange regulator, threatened to move its annual meeting, usually held in the stock exchange, elsewhere, lest the fickle finger offend the organization’s members.”

Ya know, because nobody likes to be reminded of why they’re considered to be an asshole.




I hope they’re not offering them for free.

1 Like

Is it?

I’m a long way from being a nazi fetishist, but I know from my history lessons about the Axis, and Benito and Adolf’s love fest. A nazi salute would be a deeply sarcastic expression of discontent with a financial system you’d be very rudely herding into a paddock with a historical atrocity.

Is there a ‘right angle’? Make anything like that salute in Europe and people will give you the stink eye. Some places, they might even arrest you. It’s a highly sensitive gesture, and for me personally, one that represents a regime that reduced the population of my own family, and wrecked their homes.

So - the artist and his politics.

  • Deeply involved in the country of his birth [Italy!] and its history especially with regard to art and politics, Cattelan functions in the world of global art and images.

I don’t know, does this look like a nazi salute?

It’s by the same artist, you see.

And this commentator was pretty sure about the original image and the sculptor’s intent:

The work created by Cattelan intent depicts a hand in the fascist salute

And if random panoramio doesn’t count -

the 1932 Palazzo Mezzanotte, the stock exchange headquarters, which is a hallmark of Fascist architecture

Cattelan described the sculpture “L.O.V.E.” as an anti-fascist statement. He transformed Italy’s Fascist hand salute from the 1930s by cutting off the fingers and mutilating the hand. The artist stated he was criticizing the totalitarianism that ravaged Europe in the last century. As it’s placed, it points away from the stock exchange, and not at it.

From some artists. http://www.collectortribune.com/2012/10/13/l-o-v-e-by-cattelan-in-milan-for-40-years/.

My point is - art is always open to interpretation. Just because I mention or approach the subject of fascism, that’s not weird - that’s discussing something extraordinarily (mal) formative in the history of the world. There are a billion godwin conversations to research on the net, but seriously, this isn’t one.

It is not atypical for an artist with European sensibilities to toy with the imagery of the fascist regimes that have wrought so much damage.

So it’s a much deeper work than a chopped-up high five, and its resonance is not lost on the population of today, and thank the fucking sky lords that people don’t drop the whole thing out of their heads because it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient to weigh on, because it looks like we’ve got another potential contender on our borders, and after Pfutin, there’ll be another, and another.

‘Lest we forget’.

Edit: For the record, I think it’s bloody brilliant, that sculpture. There should be one in Zurich, too.


It’s pointing straight up, is what I’m saying. Sure, in the US holding your arm out straight at a slight upward angle (like those coathooks) would be immediately recognized as a Sieg Heil, but holding your arm straight up just makes you look like a schoolboy trying to get teacher’s attention. No one would ever think of Nazis looking at a hand held straight up, or straight out to the side, or whatever.

A quick Google search looks like maybe the Italian fascists held their salutes somewhat higher than the Germans, though, so I dunno. What do Italian schoolkids do when they want teacher to call on them?

1 Like

That’s the point. There is a gulf between the American experience of the Axis and the European experience. It’s very sensitive.

There is no dynamism or motion implied in the hand - it’s rigid. Ambiguity is reduced to a jus.

Italian schoolkids? That’s not a kid’s hand.

1 Like

Source: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704681904576317781140034982

1 Like

@peregrinus_bis the ‘nazi salute’ originated from the Romans (or the statues and murals they left behind). Also note is how both european Axis countries tried to model themselves on the Roman empire, and the term fascist comes from the Roman fasces (a bundle of sticks with an axe representing the power of the state). Also the Italian Fascist flag at the time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Italian_Fascist_flag_1930s-1940s.svg

tr;dr Roman worship

Hitler not infrequently responded to Sieg Heils with a half-assed bent-elbow gesture that looked more like “talk to the hand, sister!” than a salute.

I don’t see any reason this sculpture would be a reference to that though.

Yeah, about that: