On the 13th of January 1961, Manzoni organized a new action with Maccentelli, the Opere Vive (Living works) or Sculture viventi (Living sculptures), in which he signed the plinth and the body of real life models posing as sculptures. Another facet of this idea was the Base magica (Magic base), a support standing on which anyone may be considered to be a sculpture by Manzoni.

In addition, the artist issued his Certificati d’autenticità (Declarations of Authenticity), receipt books in which the artist certified that the recipient “has been signed by my hand and therefore has to be considered as an authentic work of art for all intents and purposes as of the date below.” A system of shaped stickers to be applied to the certificates, of different colours and carrying the continuous script “Piero Manzoni”, allowed the artist to administer a scale of diverse degrees of authenticity.


Piero Manzoni signing a Scultura vivente (Living Sculpture) for Filmgiornale SEDI, Milan, January 13, 1961

Base magica - Scultura vivente (Magic Base - Living Sculpture), 1961, wood, 60 × 79 × 79 cm

Certificato d’autenticità (Declaration of Authenticity), 1961-1962