Temporäre Kunsthalle

Carsten Nicolai

31 Mar - 31 Aug 2010

© Carsten Nicolai

03/31/2010 - 08/31/2010

autoR, 2010, by Carsten Nicolai is the third project realized by the Temporäre Kunsthalle on its facade.

autoR is conceived as a self-organizing process for which visitors are invited to apply a total of around 100,000 stickers in seven different colors to a white background. The abstract shape of the stickers recalls the letter “Y” and plays with the idea of a logo while eschewing any commercial context, referring instead to the structure of viruses, especially bacteriophages, and antibodies.

The project will pass through three phases: first, the Kunsthalle will be cased in a white PVC skin, a blank surface that contrasts with the numerous advertising images and architectural projections on and around Schlossplatz—it represents a kind of zero state, a space of possibility. In June, just over halfway through the duration of the project, the skin will be removed and placed inside the Kunsthalle in four sections for a week (6/8 – 6/13/2010) so that visitors can apply the stickers to it. When the skin is reinstalled on the building’s outer walls, visitors are invited to apply further stickers. In this way, autoR generates a permanently changing facade whose appearance is shaped by an open, democratic, and dynamic process.

With this idea of the logo as a recognizable sign, Nicolai links back to his project for documenta X (1997). As a visual counterpart to the pieces of “sound graffiti” spread around the city and broadcast unannounced on the radio, sign combined the omnipresence of brand logos with the individuality and dynamism of graffiti. There is a similar ambivalence in the title autoR, composed out of the word “Autor” (“author”, owner of intellectual property) and the Greek prefix “auto” (“founded on itself”). The interplay between the initial conditions established by the artist and the individual accents resulting from the visitors’ decisions creates an image of an interactive, self-organizing creative process. In large numbers, the modular shapes of the stickers form interlocking structures, clusters that appear on the building’s skin as a symbol of creativity.

Tags: Carsten Nicolai