Joep van Lieshout
polyester, wood and metal
76 × 100 × 50 cm
Inv. No. 0096
Since my first encounter with the kitchen sink made of polyester reinforced glass fibre, I have succumbed to the charm of these objects. Joep van Lieshout’s deception lies in what appears to be a ready-made. Initially, it is the tap fitting that encourages that belief. The kitchen sink itself has the complexity of a well-formed and structured sculpture, it is the tap, however, that makes the significant difference. The unity it enters into with the geometric body into which it is fitted creates the impression that the object could have come from a simple do-it-yourself shop or plumbers’ supply depot. This is also the break with Marcel Duchamp.
Joep van Lieshout is so well aware of this history that he can ask: “How far can I assume that the percipient already has this knowledge?” Not everyone is in this position, so it is permissible for an attempt to be made to play with the thought and to deliver a new art work. Here, too, it will be a long time before general agreement is reached in favour of acceptance. Nevertheless, it offers wide room for interpretation even going as far as social sculpture though here, too, one also succumbs to a deception.
In the following years, Joep van Lieshout withdrew from singular authorship in order to establish the Atelier van Lieshout (AVL), a production co-operative, in Rotterdam. It undermines exactly that principle and thus takes a decisive step forward. Autonomy was also propagated in this community and it ran into great resistance from local politicians.
Georg Kargl, 2005 (translation: Tim Sharp)Continue reading
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