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Gabriel Orozco´s commissioned work for the Deutsche Guggenheim
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“The magical beauty of objects”
The press on Gabriel Orozco’s commissioned work for
the Deutsche Guggenheim

Thousands of objects are at the center of Gabriel Orozco’s exhibition project “Asterisms,” the 18th commissioned work for the Deutsche Guggenheim. The artist arranged objects he found on the beach in a nature protection area in Mexico and on a sports field in New York into a poetic installation that critics are raving about.

“A a philosophical investigation of formal aspects, materials, longevity and erosion.” This is how Gabriel Orozco described his exhibition project Asterisms at the Deutsche Guggenheim in an interview with Claudia Bodin, the New York correspondent of Art. “It is reminiscent of a classification of finds. You have all these objects in front of you and you try to find a meaning for the whole puzzle,” said the Mexican artist. In the review of the exhibition in Art, Birgit Sonna writes that Orozco transferred “relics from human and other life into surreal perspectives by radically shifting the context and presenting very contemporary things as though they are finds from antiquity. (…) Erosion is his main subject. Or the poetry of decay, the wearing away of cultural ideas, identities, rituals. With Orozco, we see the ravages of time gnawing on social forms that still exist.”

The Berliner Morgenpost writes that with his “astonishing floor work (…),” the artist realized “the ultimate summer show.” In the Berliner Zeitung Ingeborg Ruthe says that the “world-famous poet among the conceptualists” is showing “a clearly conceived work that consists of simple ingredients yet is highly complex” at the Deutsche Guggenheim. “(…) A giant carpet composed of garbage and flotsam turns into a strange, urgent, poetic topography before our very eyes. (…) It is abundantly obvious that Orozco has a very special eye for the magical beauty of objects.” Writing for Informationsdienst Kunst, Karlheinz Schmid has a completely different viewpoint. In his opinion, the exhibition is an “artistic debacle”: “Orozco is merely searching for traces, engaging in aesthetic games that provide no real insights.” Christiane Meixner from the Tagesspiegel on the other hand sees in Asterisms a “mosaic shedding light on 21st-century culture and living habits.” She writes that the work “contains poetic energy that affords a new view. And that makes plastic elements of fascinating beauty out of waste.”

In the blog Hypedefender, we read: “What for the viewer is a mountain of garbage in nature is visibly staged by Orozco as a cultural asset, illustrating the conflict of man versus nature.” taz editor Ingo Arend writes that “the work in Berlin’s upscale little show room would have been perfect for Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s post-human documenta 13.” He sums up the exhibition as follows: “But the 51-year-old does not just play around with forms in his work. A sense of the collision of nature and culture, of consumption and the throwaway society is always present. Orozco consciously chooses everyday objects for his works. But whereas Duchamp puts them in the context of art, Orozco gives them a form. He called his double work in Berlin Asterisms – Sternbilder. Thus he combines the profane and the poetic. The result can be called beauty."

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