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Untitled
Original title: Sin título
1994
Bicycle and a range of materials
Dimensions: 145 x 115 x 340 cm
Reference: ACF0030
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On occasions, Slominski has asked the question: "Why do something simply if we can do the same thing complicatedly?" That question explains the whys and wherefores of some of his actions, such as the one he did in Münster, or others such as the demolition of a whole building to draw a piano up to its stool, or transporting a spoonful of cough syrup in the most complicated way possible. But in the end what those questions and actions achieve is to draw attention to each everyday act and bring out its complexity. Such is the universe in which his work is located; in other words, the fundamental object of his work, as he himself has said, is life. In the early nineties he photographed a beggar's bicycle loaded with bags in the streets of a city. Later he reproduced the bicycle -and all its baggage- with precision. That was followed by a number of larger versions: the 1994 one is the biggest. This bicycle is laden with dozens of coloured plastic bags full of objects of all shapes and sizes, bags dragging along the ground, and even a sunshade. Obviously the mobility of the bicycle would be eliminated -the excess weight it is carrying, which tells us about the life of its owner, would certainly prevent it from moving forward-, but in this case, moreover, and to double the irony, this is not a conventional bicycle but a static one. In this piece the tension between artifice and nature is back again, but also that complex functioning, the opposite of simplicity, with which Slominski has produced some of his works. Only in this case he had no need to dismantle a street lamp or invent some strange gadget to transport a spoon; he has just reproduced (perhaps to extremes) a real object, documented, found in the street: a bicycle which carries but does not move, metamorphosed strictly into an object, because when all is said and done it has become a static bicycle. Not forgetting that the object belongs to a beggar, so that that tension between life and the inevitability he showed in his traps has become less intense metaphorically and now, from the rooms in a museum, emphasises the explicit inevitability of life in our cities: the weight of a life without a destination. This real object inside an exhibition room is by definition a ready-made, and as such Slominski's bicycle reproduces the basic conceptual operation of the ready-made: decontextualisation. The artists sets his eye on the object, takes it out of reality and introduces it into a chain of production of meaning. But, unlike those of Marcel Duchamp, the objects selected by Slominski's eye are not random. With a beggar's bicycle photographed and then reproduced, the author is drawing our attention to an apparently banal aspect, but one which reveals the special complexity of reality. Is it not one of the functions of art to make us look at reality, to point to the world, to sharpen our senses and tell us about the contradictions of the material life is made of?

Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist

  • Hunter with Traps, Target, Bullet-proof Box / 1987

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