Exhibition review – Daniel Spoerri in the art forum: word traps around rat nest art


It is the best time for a retrospective: Daniel Spoerri, born on March 27, 1930 as Daniel Isaac Feinstein in Galati, Romania, will be 91 years old this Saturday. Of his many collaborators, there is only him and the specific poet Eugen Gomringer, but the many art forms from Fluxus to Concept that he appropriated and alienated are still fresh and lively today. The trained ballet dancer easily extends classical mannerism into our days by arranging chambers of curiosities from everyday objects that he collects at flea markets. The Kunstforum has spared no effort to borrow Spoerri’s work from the past 70 years from Europe’s museums and private collections and to enable a wonderful tour.

Art for many

Spoerri has lived in Vienna and Hadersdorf since 2007, and the collection created by Wolfgang Hahn since 1961 has been here in Mumok for decades with major works, but the around 100 loans come from 43 different locations. In the entrance area, curator Veronika Rudorfer has hung the fictional family pictures, general and pious general with helmets and medals, but also the strict Dutch governess with teddies, old oil ham, peppered with carriers of meaning that shake her world.

Not without my cigarette: Daniel Spoerri’s phenomenal “breakfast tray, self-service restaurant, Paris, 1966. – © Daniel Spoerri and Bildrecht Vienna, 2021 / Kunstpalast / Horst Kolberg / Artothek

This is followed by assemblages that explain further methods of the ironic approach: arranged flea market items in friezes, next to a “Rat’s Nest” (1977) with prepared animal corpses in metal and straw, a macabre teamwork with Robert Filliou. With him and Roland Topor, Spoerri brought Fluxus postcards into circulation in the 1960s. Death is always present in this work, but combined with the pun of the pun – this is how shards turn into fetishes and hot guardian angels. In addition to the “Fluxus Pegasus” from 1987, whose eternal lamp burns as inspiration in many a “trap picture”, the artist pallets are his very own creations within an open field of work that Barbara Räderscheidt sees as guided by the “principle of friendship”. In fact, in addition to his activities as a dancer and director, Spoerri began as early as 1959 at the “Autotheater” with Jean Tinguely to capture poetry in kinetic objects.

After the magazine “material” with specific poets, he published the MAT edition with Dieter Roth, Man Ray, Kurt Gerstner and others, full of “multiples”, at that time not only an invention to make art affordable for many, but also a worthy successor Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades. As a co-founder of the Nouveau Réalistes, Spoerri put a paper gravestone for himself and the group with the poster “L’Ultima cena” in 1970.

On the other hand, the idea of ​​”Eat Art”, which Spoerri began in several galleries in Paris and Copenhagen, where he declared food as art in the “grocer”, still seems very much alive today. Later dinners and banquets were held, the remains of which he put on the table as “Tableau piège” (trap picture) on the wall. From the most famous Eat-Art-Restaurant plus gallery in Düsseldorf from 1968 on, the walls covered with correspondence and palindromic poetry of his friend André Thomkins have been preserved in parts, as are many trap pictures preserved after banquets – they fill the main room, next to it you can find the ” Cinnamon Magic Preserves “from the Greek island of Symi in 1966, where the residents use everything, i.e. the works of art contain natural magic.

Joint work with Filliou on the ravages of time give an insight into the word trap-language images, besides everything that is fleeting such as early bread dough work with Roth or the “threadbare oracles”, embroidered cloths, there are the art cookbooks, Torah pointer accumulations, and the very durable bronzes Spoerris from “Santo Grappa” 1970 to the “Prillwitz Idolen” 2006/08. One of them is the cast of a banquet buried in 1983 and dug up again in 2003. The Giardino Spoerris in Tuscany marks the end of the tour through poetic dream fields.

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Exhibition review Daniel Spoerri art forum word traps rat nest art


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