gerlach en koop

Concessions? Never make any.
2007

Straightened stainless steel paperclip, adhesive tape
Edition of 10 plus 2 AP
Eu 1.100 (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 a corner of the room, just above eye level, marking the respective lengths of both members of the collective, a small piece of steel-hard boredom is attached with adhesive tape. The difference in length between gerlach en koop is exactly the same as a paperclip that is unfolded. A few bends against the grain changes the modest example of bureaucratic functionality into the exact opposite. The thoughtlessness of the actual bending will be familiar to anyone who has ever been sitting behind a desk too long. Powerless resistance. Boredom.

The title of the work is an entry from the famous Dictionnaire des idées reçues, a dictionary of ready-made ideas, written by Gustave Flaubert, or actually by his characters, the copyists Bouvard and Pécuchet, as the second part of his unfinished novel simply titled Bouvard et Pécuchet. So there is a book about Bouvard and Pécuchet, and a book by Bouvard and Pécuchet. Completely disillusioned with all failures, the characters become writers by putting themselves to work, the work they knew and were used to: copying existing texts. In the encyclopedia, that is, the copy, Flaubert resisted the laziness of uncritically repeating clichés, and showed, using his protagonists as an example, how misplaced ideas of refinement stand in the way of the freedom of independent thinking.