Optimistic Box N°1

Robert Filliou


Object, 11 x 11 x 11 cm.
Materials: wood (beech), lock, labels, 1 stone

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. M00006).

Other works and editions that afford an enlightening peek into a world structured by such an anarchic sense of humor are the so-called “Optimistic Boxes”, the first of which, from the fabled year 1968, contains a pavement stone: an inscription on the outside of Optimistic Box Nr. 1 (1968) reads “thank God for modern weapons”, countered by an inscription that states “we don’t throw stones at each other anymore” – yet the paving stone was effectively that year’s most popular weapon.

Optimistic Box n°2 from 1969 contains Filliou’s scathing view of modern marriage; yet another, later work, A More Curious Invention of the Gaga Yogi (1976) consists of a box containing hundreds of thumbnails inside, and sporting one lonely, hammered nail outside.

Optimistic Box N°3 "So much the better if you can't play chess" on the outside and "You won't imitate Marcel Duchamp" on the inside. Optimistic Box N° 4 and 5 is one object, it is about the overall importance of money. The object is a pink piggy bank, on the one side is written "one thing I learned since I was born" on the other side : "that I must die since I was born".

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