Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reminiscing about Documenta, part 2

Gerwald Rockenschaub's Inflatable

i've been thinking a lot about inflatables lately, i don't know why. it might have something to do with the perpetual sense of expectation that they exude... forever "holding their breath" waiting for something to happen. back in the good old days of inflatables, they didn't need to wait long for someone like an Ant Farm collective artist to come along and jump around on or in it. probably sans clothing. nudity seemed to go hand in hand with inflatables in the '60s for some reason. but fast forward 40 years and we are confronted with inflatables that look like this... stoic and uninviting; rebuffing any Documenta visitor that sought to touch it. (if the security guard didn't do so first.) it reads as an elaborate taunt at the Ant Farmers notion that "rigid walls lead to rigid thinking," (which was always a bit of conceptual sleight of hand, but a well-intentioned one.) here is one of their beloved inflatables aspiring to have walls as angular as any drafted by Corbu himself. and like this lady in the pink shirt, there is nothing for us to do but keep walking.

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