7 – 26 Aug 2004

Beer Kilometer

Nicolas Floc'h

In 1979 the American sculptor Walter de Maria realised the monumental installation ‘The Broken Kilometer’. The floorpiece consisted of 500 brass rods arranged in a strict geometrical pattern.

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In 2004 the French artist Nicolas Floc’h (Rennes, 1970) ‘postproduces’ this piece with 5882 beercans and consequently turns the ‘Kilometer’ into a ‘consumable sculpture’. de Maria’s massive floorpiece Broken Kilometer is on permanent display in Dia Art Center as it is difficult to move due to its weight. Floc’hs creation is, in contrast to that, ephemeral and transient. The public is invited to drink the beer and therefore contributes to the ‘disintegration’ of the sculpture which slowly disappears throughout the course of the exhibition. Flo’ch is intrigued by the co-optation of the Minimalists ‘iconography’ by designers and is interested in the thin borderline separating ‘autonomous sculpture’ from ‘functional object’.

In the Beer Kilometer he addresses this issue and equally references the opposition ‘Cool Art’ versus Pop Art (Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans), Martin Kippenbergers version of ‘The Broken Kilometer’ and the conceptual ‘beerpieces’ of Jonathan Monk. 

Additional project: Structure Multifunction Complementary to the ‘Beer Kilometer’ W139 sets up a co-production with Gasthuis, platform for young theatremakers. The performers from the Amsterdam-based collective LISA work with Floc’hs installation Structure Multifonction. They work on and with it for over a month and present the results of this intense dialogue during a series of performances on Friday the 3d and Saturday the 4th of September in Theater Gasthuis.