Asher Chapter 3

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S.R. Yes, maybe we can keep this in mind and continue thinking on it in Kunsthalle Bern. What you I said thought on behalf of this work, you said you had some a lot formal considerations, you mean you had a lot formal considerations but also social and political considerations. Especially this work for me was is so condensed, it's so focused, and in the same way, and that is what I like very much, it was in a way sculptural, because if you enter this space with all this, what you call it in English, these radiators? From the heating system? –  you directly have a kind of sculptural impression, I think, and very easily you can understand then that there is a circulating system, but this circulating system is getting formalized through its pipes. You call it pipes? [Einschub von Asher] Or tubes? For me it seems to be something like you set in scene a concentration, a focus, in one room that is related to all the other rooms of the whole structure of the building – of the presentation rooms – and this is what I liked very much. And I think in one way it's easy to understand, but it's so pure, it's concentrated, and this is, that was really strong for me. And if you start from this point, and I think it's very simple to understand if you come as an outsider to this room, to this space, you can, as a second step maybe, you can get the reflection on the system. The heating system in relation to the architectural, institutional spaces. Is that right?

M.A. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. If we go back, though, this is a good example of this question of formalism and conceptualism, because this operation was among my... This very careful regress of, what, I might say, ... structure ...which, I suppose is, familiar with those people interested in conceptual tendencies, but it's got all these heavy formal relations with the viewer and with their architectural frame. So I'm gonna start here to say what I like about it is that it so easily shows how the sign of conceptualism works very conveniently with a highly formalized installation, and that, just the idea of ... we take, like, the idea of that is so much stereotype of the mind and the body, and Conceptual Art sort of entertains the mind whereas the rest of art entertains the body. Well, this tries to put those two together and suggests that the warmth and the heat is one way of understanding the reception of the work in space, yet the mind understands the way it's put together, and why it's put together this way, and particularly, hopefully, the viewer understands that ... once again, the tendency of architecture in the museum to streamline its room and make the outlets for heating and air conditioning less and less and less noticeable, and this work is one thing which - I'm going into the descriptionof the work program a little bit... an why I did it ... and this work is, reverses that and turns these outlets and these air condition elements into or better that are being taken away from the space as much as possible, and puts it back into the space, to practically the center of the space. That's one thing, and then that work also is an attempt to reference the absolute need for an infrastructure. This is very similar to what I was just saying, but with the pipes on the outside of the walls, it takes absolute notice of an infrastructure in the building, which can only begin to come from outdoors, just like the rest, and then, hopefully, what that generates is the idea that, sure, I mean that the museum is not only dependent upon the water and the energy that comes from outdoors, and the energy that comes from outdoors, but also the banks, the transportation network, every other aspect of servicing this building, is depending upon those services. So, anyway, those are the two main, those are the two most important aspects, I suppose, of that work. I'm just trying to think of what you said, though.

Michael Asher »