Neighbourhood's Nap (Tauben haben noch keinen Krieg verhindert)

Martin Kippenberger


Installation, 71.5 x 71.5 x 20 cm.
Materials: wood, plaster board, plastic, cassette player

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK7408_M266).

During his short career German artist Martin Kippenberger produced a seemingly endless amount of ‘objects’, among them an impressive number of multiples. For Kippenberger making multiples was more than a reaction against the idea of ‘the unique work of art’. Multiplication and variation was the hallmark of his entire oeuvre. Neighbourhood’s Nap is such a multiple, which means it exists in many copies. The work’s title becomes obvious as we listen to it. We hear buzzing noises, voices that speak, murmuring… Vague sounds that mean nothing in particular. And what we see, a white surface in a wooden frame, does not bring us much further. It is as if are listening to our neighbours talking behind a thin wall, and their voices are mixed with sounds from the street. The subtitle (‘Doves have not yet prevented any war’) makes the work even more secretive. Kippenberger himself suggested that it might have something to do with a couple making out and the birds outside. Does the subtitle perhaps refer to mating doves? War, and above all the evil it brings, is a theme that often recurs in Kippenberger's work. This work is possibly an antidote to the war theme: life goes on, even in times of war. The ‘packaging’ of a work of art was another of Kippenberger’s fundamental concerns. In this case the sound piece (the cassette recorder) is packed in a crate that says ‘careful – fragile’ and hidden behind a white surface, a white monochrome painting, if we like. The packaging offers no key to the meaning of this work, but it does become an integral part of it.

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