gerlach en koop

(at last) under the influence of that strange perplexity of inert irresolution
2009 - 2011

Black shoelace, metal wire
49,3 cm
Edition of 12 plus 2 AP
Eu 1.200 (excluding VAT and shipping)


gerlach en koop
Founded in 2000
Live and work in The Hague, the Netherlands and Brussels, Belgium

The elusive sculptural and conceptual work of gerlach en koop involves modifying, displacing or copying ordinary objects with subtle, almost invisible gestures. This approach begins with their name (always in lowercase): the moniker actually denotes two Dutch artists who prefer to be called a ‘collective artist’ rather than an ‘artist duo’ in order to distance themselves from their individual identities.

(at last) under the influence of that strange perplexity of inert irresolution is taken from Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville. The ‘inert irresolution’ can overcome a whale when its urge to attack and its urge to flee are equally strong. Whalers try to provoke this paralysis, as it obviously makes killing the animal easier. When this happens they say that the whale is gallied.

The piece used to be part of an ensemble of works also containing As the Skin of the Skin for which gerlach en koop each read a fresh copy of Moby Dick by Herman Melville (the sixth Dutch translation by Barber van der Pol), but with the dust jackets turned around, causing the empty white backsides to slowly become covered by smudges and scratches and other tiny marks so that the act of writing—as the steady filling of empty white sheets of paper with small black signs—is repeated in the act of reading.