Assemblage (everything vs. anything)

Sculpture from 2013

One night, while walking on Kottbusser Tor, I noticed all of the windows of the Commerzbank had been kicked in.

The treacly safety glass, armed by its viscosity, hadn’t collapsed to the attack though, but rather developed into intricate monochrome kaleidoscopes.

In between the glass and a crooked Luxaflex, hardly attractive yellow advertisements hung from aluminium cables (far too strong for their load): Zufriedenheit garantiert & Die Bank an Ihrer Seite.

It was only the day after that I realised the potential of the setup. But when I came back the windows had been replaced, the blinds straightened and the ads unchanged. My new Canon also remained untouched in my Muji backpack and I felt even more useless carrying a tripod around.

Back in my studio I summarised the situation in a few Google Image Search keywords to serendipitously find ‘Mannequins in broken shop window’. This would become the texture for my new sculpture.

Since I recently migrated to Berlin, the Deutsche Bank had not approved my credit score for a credit card yet. I decided to use the lively watermarked stock photo instead, as I could not legally acquire the image from the image bank.

This digital image to my (supposed) disposal was 1300 pixels wide and 867 high, and depicted two pale mannequins in black tuxedos, standing in a shopping window behind a huge crack in the glass (also take note of a plastic lily in the bottom right corner). Still visible in the disrupted reflection some Toyota Prius Taxis. This all overlaid with the earlier mentioned watermark (Photoshop blending mode ‘lighten’).

The aspect ratio of the image was 2 to 1, so I decided to have it printed 2 by 1 meter (which is roughly 79 x 39 inch). For it to still look good when printed on this larger scale, I had to pump it up to remain sharp, in a similar way the detectives of Law & Order SVU get their CCTV images of rapists enhanced.

The software to do this couldn’t be purchased without a credit card either so my unregistered version of ‘PhotoZoom Pro 5’ also added its watermark.

I convinced the man at the print shop this really was the image I wanted UV-printed on PET-G.

While assembling the sculpture it seemed undoubtedly the best decision to leave the protective foil on.

Installed as part of the exhibition "Art Post-Internet" at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijng. This sculpture was lost by the museum and never found back.

UV Print on hand cut acrylic glass
110 × 110cm / 43.3 × 43.3″