Magazine article Artforum International

Roman Ondak: Pinakothek der Moderne

Magazine article Artforum International

Roman Ondak: Pinakothek der Moderne

Article excerpt

It would have been easy enough for hundreds of Japanese steelworkers to cast a steel sculpture the size of a full-grown Serra--it was no doubt trickier to convince them to undertake the playful bit of bricolage Roman Ondak asked of them, a task they eventually carried out with imaginative precision: The artist gave 500 workers a chocolate bar apiece, asking them to save the wrapping paper and sculpt something out of it. A white veneer table, nearly twenty feet across, now serves as a wide pedestal to hold these tiny, shimmering silver sculptures--miniature boats, boots, heads, classical origami, simple folded shapes, animal bodies, intricately fashioned petals--all made out of thin sheets of tinfoil.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The result, Passage, 2004, formed the centerpiece of Ondak's first solo exhibition at a German museum. After acquiring the work, Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne took the occasion to devote a show to the Slovak artist, who lives and works in Berlin and Bratislava. The show also included three works made in 2007, the most inconspicuous of which gave the exhibition its title, "My Summer Shoes Rest in Winter": Ondak tied together the laces of his boots and hung them from the ceiling, a slender line. More strikingly mounted, despite its size, was the tiny shelf--just a few square inches--upon which Ondak has strewn a few Slovak coins, titling the work Pocket Money of My Son, 2007.

Measuring the Universe, 2007, on the other hand, became more visible each day: The museum staff invited each of the show's visitors to stand against a white wall and have his or her height measured, like a child whose growth is recorded on a door frame. …

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