Buren Chapter 4

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S.R. Let me come to another question of this set. ... What is your aim with your practice?

D.B. Speaking about the fact that it's always as possibly connected with a site - whatsoever the site ... - the physicality and the reality of all these things together are certainly the things I am the most concerned, and I know since the early beginning that the only way to make that possible ... even if it is not true, but at least to have a chance... is to be extremely rigorous and strict and with this methodology of working. In other words, to make it a little more simple and to do what did a lot of my close artist friends, to transform a work which has a quality to be done in the field or somewhere in the street, and to make a picture of that and then to sell the picture as a piece, it's something I always found completely destroyed, even the origin of the work. Such a thing I never allow myself to do it. Not to say that we cannot make a picture of the work but this is a picture, a documentation, a postcard, and nothing more. But as a work either someone or some institution can buy the piece where it is, how it is and cannot be ever moved to go anywhere else, or it's destroyed after the time of the exhibition. This for me is one way to really keep a certain kind of reality altogether and not to produce an object which in fact can be manipulated by anyone, anytime and forever. Forever for the best, because if you are manipulated 300 years later that means that at least some people are still interested with your object, but that's not so often the case. In my work anyhow it's impossible to do that; you have to destroy it or you have to accept it, but you cannot move it. In other words ... my work since that time is never autonomous, it's always a kind of a métissage, mixed within a lot of things which are part of the work but which are completely heterogeneous of the work. But when the work is there, of course, the wall exists as part of the work but you cannot take the wall in one site and take the work some place else; you have the wall and the work like a unit. ... to speak about the very early work the paper is done by myself, but the wall is not done by myself, but the full thing became more or less an object, and this object, of course, is absolutely belonging to the owner of the place because the wall is rarely my wall. If you don't understand that you don't understand my work ... it's not any autonomy but something which is always dependant of a structure ... a context.

If you just think about work done a long time ago, with some paper glued on the wall, you cannot detach the paper to one side and the wall to another; in other words, this wall with the paper is a piece,
but that means that the wall is not mine and the paper is not anymore mine ... You have there a new object, no doubt visual and really solid,
but this object belongs to a structure and then kills the idea of an art which can be autonomous from any situation....

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