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Love Me and Leave Me and Let Me Be Lonely
1989
Wood, wire, Gober wallpaper, papier mâché and mirror
Dimensions: 183 x 76.5 x 80 cm
Reference: ACF0691
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This work was created at the time when Martin Kippenberger was experimenting with concepts that were hybrids of painting and sculpture, a characteristic which is to be found throughout his career, but developed more emphatically after he had made his international reputation, especially as a painter, which was during the eighties. The piece consists of a polished wooden structure whose shape is similar to that of a water bed placed upright. It functions as a support for some of the graphic and object elements. Both sides of the structure are covered in the famous wallpaper designed by the American artist Robert Gober with the serial drawings of a white man in a bed and a black man hanging from the branch of a tree. Moreover, there are rolling pins hanging from wires stretched across the wooden structure which, on the other side, support a stag's head, hanging down, made of papier maché and covered with bits of a mirror. In this work Kippenberger's personal universe materialises in his usual interest in allegory and the -sometimes apparently unintelligible- association of objects and signs. Jutta Koether has pointed out that "Kippenberger's objects cannot be understood… He sows words and provokes conflicts." Kippenberger proposes a gaze which is not subject to the usual logic of perception and demands that the spectator make an effort to get rid of the ordinary resources and established codes of art interpretation, just as Dada or Joseph Beuys did in their day. To begin with, for example, that "assonant" interpretation also extends to the very concept of "authorship", since he has incorporated or "appropriated" the work of another artist, in this case the drawings on Robert Gober's wallpaper. Kippenberger's will is to produce disorders that can reinterpret established orders, both in social rules and in the way we appreciate an art object. And to do so he puts himself forward as the "connector or revealer" of such realities, bringing their state to light from a strictly individual point of view, though one which can be understood if the right frequency is used at each moment. "I have no style. My style is where you see an individual, when a personality communicates through actions, individual objects and deeds, and all that makes up a story," he said on one occasion. In Love Me and Leave Me and Let Me Be Lonely, Kippenberger seems to be giving clues to a view of society; the naturalisation (water bed, white man sleeping, wall paper) of the tragedy produced by that society contrasted with the solid reality of its effects (stag head downwards and crystallised, black man hanged). However, he never offers the key to unify the narration which he himself is apparently aware of; he leaves the observer with the responsibility for redirecting his own possibilities of interpretation.

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