Thursday, May 26, 2016

A step up

After getting so exercised over the years by museums erecting rails around sculptures, here’s a novel approach to contemporary art. You can walk on it, but please don’t touch! These are the rules at the Carl Andre exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Around 50 of Andre’s floor-based sculptures are on show, and you can stand all over 10 of them. The do not touch thing is apparently to prevent oils from your hands changing the metallic surfaces.  Looking at the oils that have already etched footprints into many of the pieces it feels a bit after-the-stable-doorish, but what an institutional effort to have got this far.  Many of the works are from private collections so the negotiation required so that visitors could walk over the work as Andre intended for a few months must have been intense. We're thinking some very expert curatorial schmooze…and maybe some flowers and wine too.

Images; top, foot traffic on Carl Andre’s 6-Metal Figure (for Mendeleev) 1995 and below, a record of all the footprints etched into it already.