Mr. G. vs. 10lb Ape

November 24th, 2008  | Categories: Bidder vs. 10lb Ape

At the second auction, after it had looked for a long time as if the public valued the right to change a sculpture by 10lb Ape in the SFMOMA at no more than 50 euros, a bid arrived apparently out of the blue and drove the price up to an unbeatable 301,97 euros (378,40 dollars). Anette C. Halm from Reichenbach in Southern Germany left all other contenders with no chance with her coolly placed highest bid.

But what is she planning to do? As we know from the first round, the sculpture by 10lb Ape is difficult to crack. Initially, the first winner Tim Roseborough attempted to tackle it with a massive intervention that would have turned everything upside down, and then – when this could not be realised for logistical reasons – he adopted a quiet, documentary tone. Neither approach really worked. The new champion is the old champion, and if we are truly honest: 10lb Ape is not even up against the ropes.

But perhaps the new winner will have more luck. She is not proposing to interfere in any way with the chaotic structure of 10lb Ape’s space-consuming sculpture and so alter it from within. Anette C. Halm, with assistance from Andrea Halm, is bold enough to seek a direct confrontation. The two simply plan to place a complete work of their own into the Public White Cube. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the sculpture already waiting for it: it is an animated video telling the story of a sanctimonious, sleazy pastor with a hidden predilection for little girls.

This sounds as if it could be quite close to the bone, but it is also very courageous indeed. For the greedy champion is standing by. So will 10lb Ape’s sculpture with its chaotic refuse structure simply swallow up the video, incorporating it in passing – as another abandoned scrap of civilisation? Will the weighty, serious message from German climes put an end to Californian lightness after all? Or will everything ultimately escalate into a balance of absurdity? Suddenly everything seems possible, for this White Cube is public indeed.

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