Page 30 - Studio International - July/August 1967
P. 30

Above                   ment. One of the most remarkable exponents of slow  the collective nature of certain offerings.
     Sobrino                 movement, Hans Haacke, has achieved (since 1963)    The great campaign of our age against the static,
     Transformation in stable 271962   almost imperceptible transformations in his Plexiglass  durable object, against the object which is entrusted with
     Transparent plexiglass
     31½ x 31½ x 8¼ in.      surfaces by making use of the irregular condensation of  the mission of capturing a certain moment in human
     Galerie Denise René, Paris   deposits of water under the action of heat and light.  creativity for posterity, is also reflected in those mani-
                             Working on the same lines he has just created a bar of  festations which for almost eight years now have been
     Above right             refrigerated copper which captures humidity from the  held side by side with traditional exhibitions on both
     Pistoletto in front of one of
     his works of 1966       atmosphere and swells as the weeks pass until one day the  sides of the Atlantic. In 1960 Alan Kaprow suggested the
                             electricity is switched off and in an instant the work is  rejection of any idea of permanence and the use of 'mani-
                             reduced to nothing. In this way he captures the notion  festly perishable media such as newspaper, string, ad-
                             of fragility in the most concrete possible manner.   hesive paper, grass at the height of its growth or real
                              In 1953 Agam laid the foundations for effective, manual  foodstuffs' so that 'no-one can overlook the fact that the
                             intervention by the spectator in the process of destruction  work of art will soon be transformed into dust and dung'.
                             of static form. The purpose of his 'transformable works'  In March of the same year, Tinguely paid his homage to
                             and then his 'tactile compositions' (the elements of which  New York by reducing to ashes a vast sculpture which
                             vibrate under the touch of a hand) was to prove that a  he had composed. At the same time Metzger developed
                             surface is infinitely variable. The younger generation of  his self-destructive works. A few months ago the Levines
                             the GRAV group takes over the same principle but  exhibited 'throw-away' works (3 dollars each) at the
                             moves the emphasis from the work and its possible trans-  Fishbach Gallery. The idea of art which disappears
                             formations to the actual gesture of the spectator, thus  within a short space of time is gaining ground. The work
                             creating a kind of 'social kineticism', the main object of  of art is becoming transformed into a Happening which
                             which is to involve the public and enable the spectator to  exists for a precisely defined space of time and disappears
                             play a dominant part in the dialogue with the work of  leaving no trace behind. If for financial reasons he must
                             art. The object is to obtain the active participation of the  choose between a Happening by Rauschenberg or a
                             individual who is meant to feel an awareness of personal  sculpture by the same artist, an avant-garde art gallery
                             intervention and choice which he is too often denied in  curator will decide on the Happening if he thinks that
                             modern society. In the last resort the 'artistic' object is  this manifestation will have a greater impact on the
                             simply an insignificant pretext for a gesture which carries  public over a short space of time than the sculpture
                              the entire meaning of the manifestation. We might quote  might have over a period of years. For men like Vasarely,
                             as an example the football set up by the GRAV group at  the artist would be wrong to put his faith in the ability
                              the Biennale des Jeunes in 1965, which spectators were  of his works to ensure the perpetuation of his thought, for
                             invited to strike with their hands. Without the least  however solid his works may be and whatever the material
                              plastic value and shorn of all formal significance, this  from which they are composed, they can only be ephe-
                             football bore witness to the indifference of the members  meral; even Sumerian granite cannot last for ever. It is
                             of the GRAV group to the 'aesthetic message' of the  far more important to rely on the mental influence which a
                             artist and the claims of his products to have perennial  work may have—through approval or reaction against
                             significance; this indifference is heightened still further by   it—on the general public and on other creative men. It is
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