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Simon Starling
Author: Dieter Roelstraete

ISBN: 9780714864198
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 11 October 2012
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 29.0 x 25.3 x 1.7
When Marcel Duchamp shipped Constantin Brancusi's sculpture Bird in Space to Edward Steichen in 1926, New York customs officials refused to accept that it was a work of art, instead levying the standard import tariff for a manufactured object. A legal battle ensued, with the courts eventually declaring Bird in Space an artwork and therefore exempt from the tariff. Seventy-eight years later, visitors to Simon Starling's exhibition at New York's Casey Kaplan Gallery were confronted with Staling's own Bird in Space (2004): a two-ton slab of steel from Romania (Brancusi's country of origin) leaning against the gallery wall and propped up on three inflatable cushions. The United States had recently introduced a new import tax of twenty per cent on foreign metals, which Starling circumvented by labelling this unaltered chunk of European steel a work of art. Its plinth of cushioned air not only introduced a second, more representational valance to the work but also brought to bear the traditional sculptural parameters of weight, gravity and balance. Starling's art frequently traffics in deception.

It also traffics in traffic, meaning the circulation of goods, knowledge and people (usua...

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