e.g. - Kunsthaus Graz, "Antje Majewski"

Simon Starling & Superflex

e.g. The Universal Egg, 2011

In the exhibition Antje Majewski. The World of Gimel. How to Make Objects Talk, the Super Egg suddenly finds itself without its now familiar existential playmate, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Metrocubo d’Infinito (Infinite Square Meter), which has seemed to haunt its presence throughout the Universalmuseum. The Kunsthaus’ previous exhibition Measuring the World, of which Pistoletto’s inward-looking mirrored cube was a part, having been de-installed around it, the stubborn Super Egg, an echo from the past, now remains to face the seemingly impossible scenario of being exhibited alongside yet another egg. The so-called Stalowe jajo—a standard steel egg—was produced by the Polish artist Pawel Freisler, and was a serendipitous early inclusion in Antje Majewski’s conception of The World of Gimel.

With the Infinite Square Meter and Measuring the World still in mind it would be tempting to think of this new ‘dance partner’, the standard egg, as the answer to the questions raised in the previous exhibition. As if the show and all the works in it, all those more or less successful attempts at trying to measure and subsequently standardize a chaotic infinity had been distilled into a perfect egg—once and for all containing that troubling space.

This being the case, the stage seems set for a drama between two eggs, originally laid with a metaphysical purpose but also coming of age with the realization that time subverts such noble intentions and adds its own sets of stories and trajectories to objects. Was the standard egg Stalowe jajo actually once packaged and transported in the beard of its creator? Did the Super Egg arrive on planet earth courtesy of extraterrestrials, deposited in the hands of a paranoid pop star as ‘a ticket to another planet’? Once this impossible drama has played itself out, what’s left are those surprising and constantly proliferating constellations of stories that orbit these seemingly magnetic eggs.

Yet this meeting of two all-consuming eggs, especially when played out in the context of the meta-structure that is the Universal Museum, seems contradictory or even futile—yet another reminder of the impossibility of imagining an Ovo Cosmographicum, a cosmic egg, be it ‘Standard’ or ‘Super’ in form, that might contain and control the Universe, and perhaps in turn reflects back on the nature of the very structure that contains them both, the museum as universal egg.


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