A small sample from our current exhibition Enjoy - the mumok Collection in Change.
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Barre de bois rond
In the 1970s André Cadere began with his Barres de bois rond, wooden rods of differing sizes that were handmade by the artist. They consist of painted cylindrical sections with lengths which correspond to their diameter. They are ordered in such as way that they follow a mathematical principle of permutation. However, there is an in-built mistake which disturbs the systematic sequence. Cadere called his wooden rods “Peinture sans fin”, painting without an end, since the form of the rod provides no orientation – there is neither front nor back, neither below nor above. Thus they redefine the borders of the medium and break with handed-down habits of seeing. The rods can be laid on the floor, mounted on the wall or just lean on it. They can also move from one place to another.
In his Promenades-performances the artist moves through urban space with a rod in his hand. He “occupies” public spaces such as streets, underground trains or restaurants with it and thus demonstrates that, for the presentation of his art, he is largely independent of an institutional framework. Cadere always carried one of his rods with him and he himself decided where and when he would present his artwork. Thus one of Cadere’s objects might turn up unexpectedly at other artists’ openings. If his rod was taken from him at the door, he evaded this regulation by smuggling a small ‘bar’ in. This subversive infiltration of the rod into the institutional context drew attention to questions of exclusion as well as the definitional power of the culture industry, not least because this staged activity charged the rod, and its carrier and producer, with significance or, perhaps, transformed the artist himself into an element of his artwork in the sense that he became a “living sculpture”.