FRAGMENTS

FRAGMENTS of ruined architecture and construction sites simultaneously, the delicately collapsing and elaborately erected Made in Ruins & Seat […] stand as if caught in time. As both staircase and superstructure, chair and classical portico, ruin and construction site, the works exist in a state of spatial and temporal suspension.

The misfits will not be pinned down. The oversized dimensions and shifting scales of the staircase fragment refuse an easy and predictable relationship with your legs. The chair defends itself against your weight. Beneath the works’ surfaces lie architectural worlds, suggesting an ambiguity of scale and a vulnerable relationship between the work’s bold outer surfaces and the fragile inner constructions that support them.


A R T I S T

“The Koepping glasses are fragile to the point that they threaten to shatter at the slightest contact with human fingers. This means that they are to all intents and purposes dysfunctional, but for us this dysfunctional character seems more than accidental. On the one hand it’s a kitsch and showy way of pursuing crafting finesse to the point of absurdity. On the other, it’s as an extreme development of an archetypical quality of any glass – its fragility. Made in Ruins and Seat on the Edge both call on our capacities to project ruin and incompletion onto our own bodies. These qualities are easy to associate with frailty, and our bodies’ innevitable decay and disintegration. But, unlike the glasses, our bodies are busy construction sites that keep picking up the pieces and rebuilding themselves.”

M U S E U M

“Karl Koepping’s ornamental glasses are in pieces. The soaring hubris of the exquisite flowers has met its nemesis in a brittle wilting. Unable to keep their promise of delicate fragility, the shattered remains now serve only as reminders of frustrated expectations and high hopes dashed. Or do they? As Made in Ruins & Seat on the Edge touch on the concepts of ruin and fragmentation in a brash and bold manner so the Koepping glasses defy us to pity them. Their triumph consists in having even been here to shatter at all. We were perfect, they seem to exclaim, and you missed it. So we are left to imagine them in their splendour, to create something meaningful from the surviving fragments. And we inevitably get it wrong. To surmise a kingdom from a coin or a house from the rotten remains of a doorpost is all we can do.”


“And then there are those fabulous glass legs. Unrealized in 1998 […] they form the basis for a grandiose Cinderella story in which a romantic prince looks for an ideal woman with just the right legs (or lack of them) so he can outdo previous narrative heroes and their glass slippers with something bigger and better. But the prince is also a prosthetist – revealing both his and the imagined prosthetics confused substrate of desire and fear. That is, the very physical and social wish to achieve transparency [entails] the latent awareness of the awful fragility of glass.”

VIVIAN SOBCHACK


A R T E F A C T D E T A I L S

Ornamental Floral Glasses

(1896)

Heights varying between 20cm-31cm

Coloured glass

Ornamental glasses in form of long-stemmed, cup-shaped flowers with two leaves. In shattered and faded condition.

These ornamental floral glasses were designed in 1896 by Karl Koepping, a professor of the Prussian Academy of Art in Berlin. The skilled glassworkers of Ilmenau in Thuringia, whose names sadly were never recorded, carried out the actual production. Of the dozen glasses the museum ordered, one was already broken on arrival. The museum still preserves the pieces of it and of the others that have shattered over the years. The glasses are created using the lampworking technique known since antiquity, but made famous by the artisans of Murano. Koepping found inspiration for the shapes and colours of the glasses in Venetian glasswork and the frailness and nuance of Eastern crafts, of which his friend Samuel Bing had a famous collection. Bing opened the Maison d’Art Nouveau in Paris in 1895 thereby giving this new artistic current the name by which it was to become known. This new style, of which the glasses are perfect examples, was characterised by exaggerated elegance, fantastic elaborations and amendments of nature’s forms.

  • 2009 – 2011 
Artwork ; Framed text ; Diasec print

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork ; Framed text ; Diasec print

  • 2009 – 2011
Artwork
Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
90 x 100 x 180 cm

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork
    Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
    90 x 100 x 180 cm

  • 2009 – 2011
Karl Koepping Ornamental Floral Glasses (2011)
Diasec print
68 x 48 x 3 cm

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Karl Koepping Ornamental Floral Glasses (2011)
    Diasec print
    68 x 48 x 3 cm

  • 2009 – 2011
Fragments
Framed text
68 x 48 x 5 cm

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Fragments
    Framed text
    68 x 48 x 5 cm

  • 2009 – 2011
Fragments
Text

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Fragments
    Text

  • 2009 – 2011
Artwork detail
Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
90 x 100 x 180 cm

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork detail
    Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
    90 x 100 x 180 cm

  • 2009 – 2011
Artwork detail
Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
90 x 100 x 180 cm

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork detail
    Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
    90 x 100 x 180 cm

  • 2009 – 2011
Artwork detail
Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
90 x 100 x 180 cm

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork detail
    Beech, plywood, mdf, plastic, steel, cardboard, rubberized paint finish.
    90 x 100 x 180 cm

  • 2009 – 2011
Artwork 
Exhibition Matter Out Of Place
Galerie Maria Wettergren

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork
    Exhibition Matter Out Of Place
    Galerie Maria Wettergren

  • 2009 – 2011
Artwork 
Exhibition Matter Out Of Place
Galerie Maria Wettergren

    Made in Ruins
    2009 – 2011
    Artwork
    Exhibition Matter Out Of Place
    Galerie Maria Wettergren

  • benandsebastian

    ‘The work of the collaborative artist practice, benandsebastian, teeters on a cusp between designed physicality and intangible theories of the mind. Trained in architecture and theoretically versed, their sculptures take on elaborate mechanics and boast intricate detailing, yet speak to vast philosophical and sociological systems. It is impossible to concretely anchor their work, an elusiveness made evident in their recent exhibition at the Designmuseum Danmark, ‘Phantom Limbs’.

    Embedded directly within the permanent collection and specifically paired with unexpected inventory from Copenhagen’s Medical Museum, National Museum and the attics of Designmuseum Danmark, their work becomes not only the sculptures on display, but the myriad relationships made between context and object, between body and limb. Evoking the medical sense of phantom limbs, where an amputee still feels the presence of the absent limb, benandsebastian navigate the museum context and call into question the assumed wholeness we expect, perceive and viscerally feel.’

    Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch,
    independent curator, DAMn magazine, issue 33

    EXHIBITIONS
    2018 Solo show: Department of Voids
    Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2017 Everyday Life
    21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
    2017 Walk & Talk Arts Festival
    Parque Terra Nostra, Ponta Delgada, Azorerne, Portugal
    2017 Collect
    Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
    2017 Mindcraft
    Salone di Mobile, Milan, Italy
    2015 Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    2015 Keep it Glassy II
    Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China
    2015 Solo show: The Beijing Archive
    Institute of Provocation, Beijing, China
    2014 Beyond Reach: Museum of Nothing
    Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2013 Zeigen
    Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2013 Dysraphic City
    Kunstlerraum Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
    2013 Solo show: Following the Museum
    Die Raum, Berlin, Germany
    2012 Treffpunkt Berlin
    Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark
    2011-2013 Solo show: Phantom Limbs
    Designmuseum Danmark and Trapholt Museum, Denmark
    2011 Sculpture Triennial 11
    Odense Kunstfond / Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark
    2010 Pastiche – When a Tree Falls in the Forest…
    Sølyst Slot, Jyderup, Denmark
    2009 KURS: The Square
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark

    AWARDS
    2015 Honorary Award from Denmark’s National Bank’s Jubilee Foundation
    2013 ’To Jomfruer’ honorary award
    2012 Niels Wessel Bagges Art Foundation honorary award
    2012 Award from Danish Arts Fondation for the work ’Completely Dusty’
    2011 ’Planken Ud’ Award
    2010 Award from Danish Arts Foundation for the work ’Sådan set er Byen’
    2009 Award from Danish Arts Foundation for the work ’Burial of the Last Queen of Denmark’
    2009 Danish Arts Foundation three year work stipend
    2008 Award from Danish Arts Foundation for the work ’City of the (Re)orientated’
    2008 Winners of Politiken newspaper’s Talent Prize

    RESIDENCIES
    2015 Art Omi
    Omi International Arts Center, Hudson Valley, New York
    2014 Institute for Provocation
    Beijing, China
    2012 ISCP, International Studio and Curatorial Program
    New York, USA

    Ask informations about this artwork

    Your name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Artwork

    Something else?