Michael Asher, Installation Münster (Caravan)

Michael Asher, Installation Münster (Caravan), 2007
Above images: Parking position, 4th week, July 09-15, Alter Steinweg, across from Kiffe-Pavillon

This work by Michael Asher is among the most beautiful I have seen, not only in terms of how it looks but more so in how it causes you to think about and respond to the many discourses that it activates. Issues surrounding production, display, the audience, institutions, and functionality overlap and intermingle and don’t leave each other or you alone. Installation Münster (Caravan) has been produced for the four Skulptur Projekte that took place in Münster in 1977, 1987, 1997, and 2007. For each of the four exhibitions, the same make and model of caravan was placed unmoored in the same series of locations during the same week-long intervals (locations and times permitting). Locations no longer usable from the initial 1977 installation left voids in the documentation, a grid-like chart of photos of the caravan taken in the specified locations during the specified weeks of all four exhibitions. (Voids were also left when an individual photo was not taken in a given year, as happened in four instances.) The voids in the documentation led me to think about how in principle the project should be exactly repeatable but in reality that will never happen. I think this fact is what makes the proposal of 32 years ago so immediate and will allow it always to be so. What struck me about this work was the way in which the temporal and spatial structures of what you are seeing just melt into each other. The elegance and economy of this process has been well-documented but what I remember most was feeling awe, hope, jealousy and joy all at once.  I have seen it only in 2007 but look forward to seeing it again in 2017, 2027, 2037, 2047, 2057…