Raphael Linsi

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0H6A8856_0

Deflated ball, ball, 2020, 22 x 21 x 18 cm

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0H6A8857_0

Troubled mind, 2020, c-print, 30 x 40 cm

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0H6A9223.JPG

5 deflated balls, balls, perspex vitrine, 2020, various dimensions

Untitled1_2
Untitled1_2

15.12.2019, 14:37h

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0H6A8093_1.JPG

22.11.2019, 12:44h

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20190915-_S1A8637_0

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8684_0

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8702

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8698

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8706

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8710_b

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8711

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi_S1A8671

Trace of memory (dog), 2019, carpet, doghair, dust, perspex vitrine, 207 x 142 x 7 cm

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20191215-0H6A8229

15.12.2019, 14:02h (wet street)

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0H6A8971_0

Deflated ball, 2020, ball, 13 x 18 x 17 cm

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20190822-IMG_3347

Milligram (16 of 24), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarette, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

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20190915-_S1A8615_0

Milligram, 24 Polaroids, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarettes, 7.2 x 9.3 cm each

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20190915-_S1A8650

Milligram (6-8 of 24) Polaroids, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarettes, 7.2 x 9.3 cm each

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20190822-IMG_3320

Milligram (2 of 24), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarette, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

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20190822-IMG_3321_0

Milligram (3 of 24), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarette, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

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20190822-IMG_3324

Milligram (11 of 24), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarette, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

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20190822-IMG_3327_0

Milligram (12 of 24), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarette, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

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20190822-IMG_3332

Milligram (2 of 24), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, JUUL e-cigarette, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

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20200124-0H6A8808

24.01.2020, 7:24h (morning sky)

Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--078
Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--078

Buying time, 2018, lighting object, 15 x 50 x 50 cm, installation view, Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt, Le vent nous portera, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018

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Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--140

Buying time, 2018, lighting object, 15 x 50 x 50 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--126

Buying time, 2018, lighting object, 15 x 50 x 50 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--133

Buying time, 2018, lighting object, 15 x 50 x 50 cm (detail)

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Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--079

Buying time, 2018, lighting object, 15 x 50 x 50 cm, installation view, Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt, Le vent nous portera, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018

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0H6A8579.JPG

31.12.2019, 15:57h (the last day of a year)

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0H6A8944_0

Deflated ball, ball, 2020, 22 x 22 x 22 cm

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20190915-_S1A8750_0

Kitchen and corridor (1 of 3), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, velcro, 8.2 x 10.6 cm

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20190915-_S1A8660

Kitchen and corridor, 2019, 3 Polaroids, aluminum, velcro, 8.2 x 10.6 cm each

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20190915-_S1A8742_0

Living room decorating ideas (2 of 7), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, velcro, 8.2 x 10.6 cm

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20190915-_S1A8662

Living room decorating ideas, 2019, 7 Polaroids, aluminum, velcro, 8.2 x 10.6 cm each

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20190915-_S1A8745

Living room decorating ideas (3 of 7), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, velcro, 8.2 x 10.6 cm

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20190915-_S1A8668

Living room decorating ideas (1-4 of 7), 2019, Polaroids, aluminum, velcro, 8.2 x 10.6 cm each

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20191115-0H6A8003

15.11.2019, 08:29h

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20180318-HEFTI%20HERZ%20frontal

Heart (placeholder), 2019, inkjet print, 50 x 75 cm, installation view, Same time, same place, twenty years, Berlin 2019

RL
RL

Untitled, 2016, washing powder and adhesives on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, installation view, Foundation Painting Show, Glasgow International, 2018

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IMG_0853.JPG

Untitled, 2016, washing powder and adhesives on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, installation view, Foundation Painting Show, Glasgow International, 2018

Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--054
Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--054

My frozen heart, 2018, steel, enamel varnish, 80 x 76 x 2 cm, installation view, Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt, Le vent nous portera, Kunsthalle Basel, 2018

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Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--034

My frozen heart, 2018, steel, enamel varnish, 80 x 76 x 2 cm

Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--039
Raphael_Linsi--Kunstkredit-Kunsthalle--039

My frozen heart, 2018, steel, enamel varnish, 80 x 76 x 2 cm (detail)

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0H6A8124.JPG

24.11.2019, 10:20h (Malpensa Express)

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0H6A8125_0.JPG

24.11.2019, 10:20h (Malpensa Express)

Raphael_Linsi_01
Raphael_Linsi_01

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_02
Raphael_Linsi_02

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_03
Raphael_Linsi_03

Dog walk I (Torstrasse), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 80 x 80 x 20 cm

Raphael_Linsi_04
Raphael_Linsi_04

Dog walk I (Torstrasse), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 80 x 80 x 20 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_05
Raphael_Linsi_05

Dog walk I (Torstrasse), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 80 x 80 x 20 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_06
Raphael_Linsi_06

Dog walk I (Torstrasse), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 80 x 80 x 20 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_07
Raphael_Linsi_07

Dog walk II (Rehberge), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 100 x 100 x 30 cm

Raphael_Linsi_08
Raphael_Linsi_08

Dog walk II (Rehberge), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 100 x 100 x 30 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_09
Raphael_Linsi_09

Dog walk II (Rehberge), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 100 x 100 x 30 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_10
Raphael_Linsi_10

Dog walk II (Rehberge), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 100 x 100 x 30 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_11
Raphael_Linsi_11

Dog walk II (Rehberge), 2017, vitrine, various objects, 100 x 100 x 30 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_12
Raphael_Linsi_12

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_13
Raphael_Linsi_13

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_14
Raphael_Linsi_14

Untitled, 2017, washing powder, 40 x 45 x 55 cm

Raphael_Linsi_15
Raphael_Linsi_15

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_16
Raphael_Linsi_16

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_17
Raphael_Linsi_17

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_18
Raphael_Linsi_18

Heart, 2016, steel, 280 x 320 cm

Raphael_Linsi_19
Raphael_Linsi_19

Heart, 2016, steel, 280 x 320 cm (detail)

Raphael_Linsi_20
Raphael_Linsi_20

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_21
Raphael_Linsi_21

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

Raphael_Linsi_22
Raphael_Linsi_22

Ball, 2016, football, 21 x 21 x 10 cm

Raphael_Linsi_23
Raphael_Linsi_23

Pile of leaves, 2017, leaves, 55 x 130 x 100 cm

Raphael_Linsi_24
Raphael_Linsi_24

installation view, I dropped a stick at the side of the road, Oslo10, Basel, 2017

I dropped a stick at the side of the road
14. Jan - 4. Feb, 2017
Oslo10, Basel

The body of work that makes up ‘I dropped a stick at the side of the road’ started with a cat, or more precisely, with the absence of a cat. On a trip to Porto last July, Raphael Linsi found the artist friends he was visiting in a state of emergency. Their beloved pet, Penha, was missing, and they were frantically searching for her. It was a side to the couple, who he describes as “sensitive but tough”, that Linsi had never seen before, and it sparked in him an interest in looking at the human/domestic animal relationship: a relationship which began somewhere bet- ween 15,000 and 50,000 years ago with the domestication of wolves. On a return visit to the city, he arrived with a video camera and spent extended periods of time with Penha, hoping to develop a bond with her. The attempt was largely unfruitful. Penha more-or-less ignored Linsi, seemingly indifferent to her key role in his artistic research.

There is an obvious absurdity to trying to make a cat love you. One that reminds me in passing of the works of the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, in particularly his repeated efforts to defy gravity in Falling I (where he films himself falling off a roof) and Falling II (riding a bicycle into a canal). What links Jan Ader and Linsi and makes their attempts intriguing is not the silliness of their activities but the seriousness with which they partake in them.

More success was to be had in Berlin with Omar, the pet of another of Linsi’s friends. That Omar is a dog should come as no surprise to any dog owners reading this. The war between canine and feline owners, largely conduted these days via Internet memes, is based on the premise that dogs are either loyal and loving, or stupid and gullible. By the same logic cats are either intelligent and self-reliant or pretentious, unfeeling assholes depending on to whom you talk to. Whatever the truth, Omar was more susceptible to Linsi’s charms and their interspecies alliance was the starting point for the seven works in this exhibition.

While in Porto Linsi was resigned to sitting inside the apartment and waiting for Penha to return, in Berlin he began to take Omar for walks. As dogs will often do, Omar sniffed or picked up certain objects that he was attracted to. The relationship between canines and human waste is more meaningful than one may originally think: it is a widely held belief that domesticated dogs came in to being due to opportunistic wolves who fed from the trash produced by human settlements. Fascinated by this tale of co-evolution, Linsi began to work Omar‘s finds into his research, tracking the walks with the GPS on his phone and noting the original positions of each of the objects that Omar found before taking them home. These readymades are the first pieces that one encounters upon entering the exhibition. The mundane objects, including a table tennis bat, sticks of varying lengths and lots of food wrappers, are displayed like museum exhibits in two specially made vitrines titled Dog walk I (Torstrasse) (both works 2017) and the slightly larger Dog walk II (Rehberge).

Linsi calls the process that created these works “the dog as curator”. While it would be easy to see this as an ironic comment, if we choose to take this seriously as a concept it acknowledges the specific physiology of canines and their ability to ‘curate’ through smell. It is not just that dogs have a better sense of smell than us (a beagle’s nose has 300 receptor sites compared with human being’s six million), but that they ‘see’ in odors. In short, dogs do not have to exhale in order to breathe in more air but can “continually refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans keep ‘shifting their gaze to get another look.’”¹ The book from which I’m quoting, Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, asks us to forget our human-centric idea of knowledge and to attempt to see the world from the position of our pets, and in many ways Linsi’s vitrine works ask the same thing of us.

Linsi was also interested in the environmental factors that inadvertently affected Omar’s decisions. For instance, when it rained fewer objects were picked up and when it was very hot the opposite is true. There were also civic factors at play. Certain areas in Berlin, for example, are full of litter, but when Linsi took another dog for a walk in wealthy Switzerland he realized that there simply wasn’t much trash for the animal to find.

Public order is also an aspect of Pile of leaves (2017), located in the second room of Oslo10. Two heaps of leaves sit directly on the floor of the exhibition space no different from the piles made in public parks across the world by city workers. Linsi’s interest is in the fact that the desire by humans for orderliness creates spaces that are adapted by reptiles, insects and small mammals alike and used as temporary shelter. Although this could be seen as culture (human) imposing on nature (animal). In her 2003 essay The Companion Species Manifesto Donna Haraway argues against what she calls “The story of Wilderness before the fall into Culture,” stating, “flexibility and opportunism are the name of the game for both species, who shape each other throughout the ongoing story of co-evolution”².

A third pile on the floor Untitled (2017) is responsible for the intense smell in the exhibition space. It too is the result of a wish for order, but of a different nature. Linsi has been working with washing detergent as a medium for a number of years now. Whereas previously he has used the detergent to create paintings, for this iteration he has dispensed with the canvas to make a clearer his interest in the use of the material and its biological, psychological and environmental implications. As Roland Barthes has said, advertising campaigns for commercial soap powders and detergents “call into play vanity (and) a social concern with appearances”³, which we now know is at the cost of our environment as well as our own health.

The last two works, fixed on adjoining walls, couldn’t be more different in both size and stature. One is a deflated ball, printed with the words Il sole (the sun), which Linsi found while on a run. Once used for team games, Ball (2016) was most likely passed onto a dog and then broken. The ball, rather like the stick of the exhibitions title, is an object that is endlessly lost, found and lost again in public parks by multiple species. The second, a 2.8 x 3.2 meter heart Heart (2016) has been fabricated from reinforced steel. Standing in stark contrast to the ephemeral and often perishable nature of the other pieces in the exhibition, this reinforced steel sculpture could potentially last thirty-five times longer than the average human lifetime.

– Chloe Stead

¹ Taken from the New York Times review of Alexandra Horowitz’ Inside of a Dog. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Schi- ne-t.html?_r=1
² Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto, Chicago 2003, p.36
³ Roland Barthes, „Soap-powders and Detergents“, in: Mythologies, New York 1991, p. 35

20191225-0H6A8533
20191225-0H6A8533

25.12.2019, 15:52h

20191225-0H6A8543
20191225-0H6A8543

25.12.2019, 15:52h

Raphael_Linsi--020%201
Raphael_Linsi--020%201

Social anxiety, 2018, steel, 80 x 76 x 2 cm, installation view, A heart was not intendended, Rheum Room, Basel, 2018

20190915-_S1A8767
20190915-_S1A8767

Scooter (6 of 7), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, mobile holder, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

20190915-_S1A8762
20190915-_S1A8762

Scooter, 2019, 7 Polaroids, aluminum, mobile holder, 7.2 x 9.3 cm each

20190915-_S1A8769
20190915-_S1A8769

Scooter (1 of 7), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, mobile holder, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

20190915-_S1A8768
20190915-_S1A8768

Scooter (3 of 7), 2019, Polaroid, aluminum, mobile holder, 7.2 x 9.3 cm

20160218-ORACLE180216_001
20160218-ORACLE180216_001

installation view, Der Geruch des noch warmen Motors eines am Fusse des Berges geparkten Fahrzeugs, Oracle, Berlin, 2016

Der Geruch des noch warmen Motors eines am Fusse des Berges geparkten Fahrzeugs
30. Jan - 20. Feb, 2016
Oracle, Berlin

press release:

Detergents

These products have been in the last few years the object of such massive advertising that they now belong to a region of daily life which the various types of psychoanalysis would do well to pay some attention to if they wish to keep up to date. One could then usefully contrast the psychoanalysis of purifying fluids (chlorinated, for example) with that of detergents (Ariel Actilift). The relations between the evil and the cure, between dirt and a given product, are very different in each case.

Chlorinated fluids, for instance, have always been experienced as a sort of liquid fire, the action of which must be carefully estimated, otherwise the object itself would be affected, ‚burnt‘. The implicit legend of this type of product rests on the idea of a violent, abrasive modification of matter: the connotations are of a chemical or mutilating type: the product ‚kills‘ the dirt. Detergents, on the contrary, are separating agents: their ideal role is to liberate the object from its circumstantial imperfection: dirt is ‚forced out‘ and no longer killed; in the Ariel Actilift imagery, dirt is a diminutive enemy, stunted and black, which takes to its heels from the fine immaculate canvas at the sole threat of the judgment of Ariel Actilift. Products based on chlorine and ammonia are without doubt the representatives of a kind of absolute fire, a saviour but a blind one. Detergents, on the contrary, are selective, they push, they drive dirt through the texture of the object, their function is keeping public order not making war.

But even in the category of detergents, one must in addition oppose against advertisements based on psychology those based on psychoanalysis. ‚Persil Whiteness‘ for instance, bases its prestige on the evidence of a result; it calls into play vanity, a social concern with appearances, by offering for comparison two objects, one of which is whiter than the other. Advertisements for Ariel Actilift also indicate the effect of the product (and in superlative fashion, incidentally), but they also chiefly reveal its mode of action; in doing so, they involve the consumer in a kind of direct experience of the substance, make him the accomplice of a liberation rather than the mere beneficiary of a result; matter here is endowed with value-bearing states. Ariel Actilift uses two of these, which are rather novel in the category of detergents: the deep and the foamy. To say that Ariel Actilift cleans in depth is to assume that canvas is deep, which no one had previously thought, and this unquestionably results in exalting it, by establishing it as an object favourable to those obscure tendencies to enfold and caress which are found in every human body. As for foam, it is well known that it signifies luxury. To begin with, it appears to lack any usefulness; then, its abundant, easy, almost infinite proliferation allows one to suppose there is in the substance from which it issues a vigorous germ, a healthy and powerful essence, a great wealth of active elements in a small original volume. Finally, it gratifies in the consumer a tendency to imagine matter as something airy, with which contact is effected in a mode both light and vertical, which is sought after like that of happiness either in the gustatory category (foie gras, entremets, wines), in that of clothing (muslin, tulle), or that of soaps (filmstar in her bath). Foam can even be the sign of a certain spirituality, inasmuch as the spirit has the reputation of being able to make something out of nothing, a large surface of effects out of a small volume of causes (creams have a very different ‚psychoanalytical‘ meaning, of a soothing kind: they suppress wrinkles, pain, smarting, etc.). What matters is the art of having disguised the abrasive function of the detergent under the delicious image of a substance at once deep and airy which can govern the molecular order of the material without damaging it.

20160218-ORACLE180216_003
20160218-ORACLE180216_003

installation view, Der Geruch des noch warmen Motors eines am Fusse des Berges geparkten Fahrzeugs, Oracle, Berlin, 2016

Der Geruch des noch warmen Motors eines am Fusse des Berges geparkten Fahrzeugs
30. Jan - 20. Feb, 2016
Oracle, Berlin

press release:

Detergents

These products have been in the last few years the object of such massive advertising that they now belong to a region of daily life which the various types of psychoanalysis would do well to pay some attention to if they wish to keep up to date. One could then usefully contrast the psychoanalysis of purifying fluids (chlorinated, for example) with that of detergents (Ariel Actilift). The relations between the evil and the cure, between dirt and a given product, are very different in each case.

Chlorinated fluids, for instance, have always been experienced as a sort of liquid fire, the action of which must be carefully estimated, otherwise the object itself would be affected, ‚burnt‘. The implicit legend of this type of product rests on the idea of a violent, abrasive modification of matter: the connotations are of a chemical or mutilating type: the product ‚kills‘ the dirt. Detergents, on the contrary, are separating agents: their ideal role is to liberate the object from its circumstantial imperfection: dirt is ‚forced out‘ and no longer killed; in the Ariel Actilift imagery, dirt is a diminutive enemy, stunted and black, which takes to its heels from the fine immaculate canvas at the sole threat of the judgment of Ariel Actilift. Products based on chlorine and ammonia are without doubt the representatives of a kind of absolute fire, a saviour but a blind one. Detergents, on the contrary, are selective, they push, they drive dirt through the texture of the object, their function is keeping public order not making war.

But even in the category of detergents, one must in addition oppose against advertisements based on psychology those based on psychoanalysis. ‚Persil Whiteness‘ for instance, bases its prestige on the evidence of a result; it calls into play vanity, a social concern with appearances, by offering for comparison two objects, one of which is whiter than the other. Advertisements for Ariel Actilift also indicate the effect of the product (and in superlative fashion, incidentally), but they also chiefly reveal its mode of action; in doing so, they involve the consumer in a kind of direct experience of the substance, make him the accomplice of a liberation rather than the mere beneficiary of a result; matter here is endowed with value-bearing states. Ariel Actilift uses two of these, which are rather novel in the category of detergents: the deep and the foamy. To say that Ariel Actilift cleans in depth is to assume that canvas is deep, which no one had previously thought, and this unquestionably results in exalting it, by establishing it as an object favourable to those obscure tendencies to enfold and caress which are found in every human body. As for foam, it is well known that it signifies luxury. To begin with, it appears to lack any usefulness; then, its abundant, easy, almost infinite proliferation allows one to suppose there is in the substance from which it issues a vigorous germ, a healthy and powerful essence, a great wealth of active elements in a small original volume. Finally, it gratifies in the consumer a tendency to imagine matter as something airy, with which contact is effected in a mode both light and vertical, which is sought after like that of happiness either in the gustatory category (foie gras, entremets, wines), in that of clothing (muslin, tulle), or that of soaps (filmstar in her bath). Foam can even be the sign of a certain spirituality, inasmuch as the spirit has the reputation of being able to make something out of nothing, a large surface of effects out of a small volume of causes (creams have a very different ‚psychoanalytical‘ meaning, of a soothing kind: they suppress wrinkles, pain, smarting, etc.). What matters is the art of having disguised the abrasive function of the detergent under the delicious image of a substance at once deep and airy which can govern the molecular order of the material without damaging it.

20160218-ORACLE180216_002
20160218-ORACLE180216_002

installation view, Der Geruch des noch warmen Motors eines am Fusse des Berges geparkten Fahrzeugs, Oracle, Berlin, 2016

Der Geruch des noch warmen Motors eines am Fusse des Berges geparkten Fahrzeugs
30. Jan - 20. Feb, 2016
Oracle, Berlin

press release:

Detergents

These products have been in the last few years the object of such massive advertising that they now belong to a region of daily life which the various types of psychoanalysis would do well to pay some attention to if they wish to keep up to date. One could then usefully contrast the psychoanalysis of purifying fluids (chlorinated, for example) with that of detergents (Ariel Actilift). The relations between the evil and the cure, between dirt and a given product, are very different in each case.

Chlorinated fluids, for instance, have always been experienced as a sort of liquid fire, the action of which must be carefully estimated, otherwise the object itself would be affected, ‚burnt‘. The implicit legend of this type of product rests on the idea of a violent, abrasive modification of matter: the connotations are of a chemical or mutilating type: the product ‚kills‘ the dirt. Detergents, on the contrary, are separating agents: their ideal role is to liberate the object from its circumstantial imperfection: dirt is ‚forced out‘ and no longer killed; in the Ariel Actilift imagery, dirt is a diminutive enemy, stunted and black, which takes to its heels from the fine immaculate canvas at the sole threat of the judgment of Ariel Actilift. Products based on chlorine and ammonia are without doubt the representatives of a kind of absolute fire, a saviour but a blind one. Detergents, on the contrary, are selective, they push, they drive dirt through the texture of the object, their function is keeping public order not making war.

But even in the category of detergents, one must in addition oppose against advertisements based on psychology those based on psychoanalysis. ‚Persil Whiteness‘ for instance, bases its prestige on the evidence of a result; it calls into play vanity, a social concern with appearances, by offering for comparison two objects, one of which is whiter than the other. Advertisements for Ariel Actilift also indicate the effect of the product (and in superlative fashion, incidentally), but they also chiefly reveal its mode of action; in doing so, they involve the consumer in a kind of direct experience of the substance, make him the accomplice of a liberation rather than the mere beneficiary of a result; matter here is endowed with value-bearing states. Ariel Actilift uses two of these, which are rather novel in the category of detergents: the deep and the foamy. To say that Ariel Actilift cleans in depth is to assume that canvas is deep, which no one had previously thought, and this unquestionably results in exalting it, by establishing it as an object favourable to those obscure tendencies to enfold and caress which are found in every human body. As for foam, it is well known that it signifies luxury. To begin with, it appears to lack any usefulness; then, its abundant, easy, almost infinite proliferation allows one to suppose there is in the substance from which it issues a vigorous germ, a healthy and powerful essence, a great wealth of active elements in a small original volume. Finally, it gratifies in the consumer a tendency to imagine matter as something airy, with which contact is effected in a mode both light and vertical, which is sought after like that of happiness either in the gustatory category (foie gras, entremets, wines), in that of clothing (muslin, tulle), or that of soaps (filmstar in her bath). Foam can even be the sign of a certain spirituality, inasmuch as the spirit has the reputation of being able to make something out of nothing, a large surface of effects out of a small volume of causes (creams have a very different ‚psychoanalytical‘ meaning, of a soothing kind: they suppress wrinkles, pain, smarting, etc.). What matters is the art of having disguised the abrasive function of the detergent under the delicious image of a substance at once deep and airy which can govern the molecular order of the material without damaging it.

20160218-ORACLE180216_006
20160218-ORACLE180216_006

Untitled I, 2016, washing powder and adhesives on canvas, 210 x 120 cm

20160218-ORACLE180216_007
20160218-ORACLE180216_007

Untitled II, 2016, washing powder and adhesives on canvas, 210 x 120 cm

20160218-ORACLE180216_005
20160218-ORACLE180216_005

Picking flowers on prescriptions, 2016, dried flowers, safety glass, 50 x 90 cm

20160129-IMG_2685
20160129-IMG_2685

My brain is raining (depression), 2016, sticker, 15 x 12 cm