At the opening of Gelitin new exhibition at Greene Naftali, “The Fall Show,” on Sept. 13, a visitor kicked a foot pedal affixed to the pedestal of a sculpture of black buckets with the pole of an American flag stuck into it. The flag was hanging limply. The bucket-flag sculpture fell over sending the buckets rolling across the floor along with a shower of plastic Easter eggs that they contained. The sculpture was just one of a whole series of handcrafted works, each with its own foot pedal, that when pressed knocks the sculpture over, revealing in its descent the double entendre of the show’s title.
At the opening of the show, the Austrian collective’s second at the gallery, when these colorful constructions fell, they landed with a thud, a clatter, a rattle or in near silence. Some refused to fall (the rope chair), while others merely floated (the Warholian Mylar balloon). Some, like the tall multicolored vase, changed almost instantly on their first fall—the vase broke off into chunks and shards (a huge hit at the opening!)—while others, like the odd stuffed animal sculpture, seemed to be doing fine after numerous trips off the pedestal.
What happens to the sculptures once they’re ‘ruined’? According to the members of Gelitin, the fall does not destroy these sculptures. “The more you use it, the more you abuse it, the better it gets,” one of the artists said to Gallerist.
Check out the slide show for a visual tour through the exhibition. But keep in mind: these are the sculptures in their purest state. And by now, after the opening, at which revelers were welcomed by an elevator ride with a nude pianist, these sculptures are in much better shape, indeed.
(All images are courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali)