Documenta 11


Reduced November Room (Reduced to 88%)


Painted aluminum, iron, wood, ceramic, plastic / Dimensions variable
Collection Jarla Partilager

MM: The reconstruction—or the reduction to 88 percent—of everything in the installation, makes for an interesting parallel with photography and the documentary in general. The 88 percent reduction is more felt than seen and, therefore, has a somewhat alienating effect. Both the alienating distance that accompanies this reduction and the interwoven moments are related to photography. I also wanted to create a number of spaces in which a person could experience what it is like to be taller. The viewer is slightly more distanced from things. I was looking for a certain subtlety, which is why I reduced everything to 88 percent and not 85 percent, for example. A greater reduction would have been too theatrical for me. All the objects in this installation are actually real, three-dimensional, reduced representations of the original objects. It’s simply a three-dimensional photograph.
The two figures in Reduced November Room represent a doubling of moments in time. Two large figures are placed on a table; at first glance they seem identical, but on closer inspection one realizes they are actually the same figure, captured at two different, but consecutive, moments, with only a slight variation in expression and pose. They seem like two recreated film stills, which gives them a life of almost a whole second.
The figures were created in a rather complex way. First of all, I combined three nude models into a kind of hybrid: two girls and a boy. I then altered the resulting model by means of a diagram based on the differences in form between two existing kinds of fish. You can imagine that one kind of fish evolved into another kind by a contorted process of compression. I applied the diagram derived from this transformation process to the hybrid model. Subsequently, I gave the model more anatomically correct features.
Also in the room is a still life which, like the two figures, comprises two phases (pp. 160–162). Only here I combined the two moments in such a way that the objects in the second still life change the meaning of a number of objects in the first. Naturally, these are all attempts to introduce the element of time into a completely motionless building.