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Tricksters

Group show with works by Robert Breer
Gianni Manhattan, Vienna
September 4 - October 23, 2021

What is under the carpet is not visible. When something is swept under the carpet it may not attract attention and is not mutable. Pulling the rug out from someone’s feet, metaphorically unsettling someone’s belief and material existence, is a classical slapstick trick. How many hours have you spent watching or playing cartoon characters getting their heads flattened by frying pans and bodies smashed into accordions? Slapstick slyness is the trickster’s weapon of choice, neither villain nor hero but both, one and the other. Removing the rug might open a trap door into the grainy duplicity of what we call common reality.

Robert Breer’s rug sculpture hovers through the gallery. The ‘Floats’ are like nodes that mark the convergence of multiple trains of thought. Made of painted styrofoam, neutral in color and shape, the motorized objects move slowly, animated like buoys in the sea. With great tranquility, they seem to follow random paths, introducing a kinetic energy that proliferates the possible points of view of the very moment. And then, they casually drift out of the picture.

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